As you gear up for Thanksgiving prep, you may need some simple menu ideas. This sheet pan meal is so wonderfully easy that you don’t even really have to think about it. All you need is a salad alongside and you’re all set.

For this flexible recipe, use other chicken pieces if you wish and slice the zucchini and potatoes to the thickness you like best. I cut the vegetables thinly because I like crispy edges and a bit of caramelizing.

Use your favorite herbs, for instance a spritz of lemon juice and a shake of oregano gives the dish a Greek flavor; smoky paprika is another good choice.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected]

As far as Thanksgiving goes, do you want to serve an appetizer or two, but don’t want to be over-stuffed before the main event? I love to eat, but I’ve never quite understood the concept of loading up on heavy snacks when the bird is in the oven and all the accompaniments are waiting to be devoured. In my opinion, it’s so much better to save your favorite, more filling apps for a gathering when a 20-pound turkey, seven sides, and multiple pies are not in the equation.

Brie with cranberry is more my style because it’s sweet and savory, gooey and flavorful, yet just enough. If you concoct your own cranberry sauce for a side dish, make a bit of extra for this three-ingredient wonder. Canned cranberry sauce is fine, but homemade is so much better, is so easy, and can be made in advance.

Don’t hesitate to put your own spin on this. My suggestions include a well-placed sprig of fresh rosemary, candied pecans, a dash of cinnamon, a spiral of orange zest, a drizzle of Grand Marnier … the list goes on.


I want to emphasize that the brie should be really cold before baking. A good way to ensure that is to stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes just before baking.

I serve this simple yumminess with stout apple slices so my tablemates and I aren’t weighed down with carbs, namely bread and crackers, before we dig into the star attraction.

And everyone needs an invigorating holiday mocktail in their life for sharing with friends, elevating Sunday brunch, or enjoying by the fire on a winter’s evening. Don’t you agree?


You don’t have to lose your mind while prepping for the holidays. Keep your weeknight meals extra easy, get enough rest, and go easy on those holiday appetizers.

Roasted Chicken Drumsticks with Potatoes & Zucchini

1 1/2 pounds chicken drumsticks

4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced


2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon rosemary or thyme

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet (or two small ones) with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Alternate rows of potatoes and zucchini in a single layer on the baking sheet(s) and season with 1/2 teaspoon herbs, salt and pepper.

Use the remainder of the herbs and more salt and pepper to season drumsticks. Place oiled baking rack(s) on top of the baking sheet(s) and set the drumsticks on the racks so that the drippings flow down onto the vegetables while roasting.


Roast for 40-60 minutes (depending on size of drumsticks and thickness of vegetable slices), turning chicken halfway through cooking time until drumsticks are golden and cooked through and the vegetables should be tender with crisp edges.

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Brie with Cranberry

1 (8-ounce) round brie

1/2 cup cranberry sauce

2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped


Preheat oven to 400. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place brie on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before transferring to a serving dish.

Top with cranberry sauce, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around the edges. Sprinkle walnuts on top.

Yield: 4 servings

Pomegranate Fizz with Orange

1 large orange


1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 cup pomegranate juice

1 cup seltzer

1/4 cup fresh pomegranate arils

Ice cubes


Cut peel and white pith off orange in large sections. Place peel in a small saucepan with water and sugar and bring to a simmer over high heat. Lower heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes then let cool. Strain. (Leftover syrup will keep for a month in the fridge.)

Cut peeled orange into 8 slices then cut 4 slices in half. Place 1 full and 1 half slice in the bottom of each of 4 (8-ounce) glasses and muddle lightly. Add a couple of ice cubes to each, followed by 1 1/2 tablespoons orange syrup, 1/4 cup each pomegranate juice, and seltzer. Stir to combine and adjust ingredients as needed.

Garnish each glass with one halved orange slice and pomegranate arils.

Yield: 4 servings

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