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Cook with Chef Scottie Johnson: Easy Thanksgiving appetizers and a dessert

It may be Thanksgiving, but you can use these recipes year-round.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — On Thursday, families across Central Georgia will come together to enjoy their favorite Thanksgiving meal. You can never go wrong with a few appetizers before you eat. 

13WMAZ checked in with Chef Scottie Johnson to get a few recipes you can easily make at your home on Thanksgiving or whenever.

Johnny Cake Bruschetta


  • Cornbread, prepared
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 6 ounces of feta cheese, crumbles
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 ounces balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Watercress or arugula


  1. Cut the tomatoes in half or thirds to desired size.
  2. Roll the basil to chop into strips.
  3. Combine the cheese, tomatoes, basil, pepper and garlic together and gently stir to mix. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. Bake cornbread from a desired johnny cake recipe.
  5. Serve with the bruschetta on top of the Johnny cake. Add watercress or arugula and balsamic glaze drizzle on top.

Spring Mix Martini Shrimp Salad


  • Vinaigrette dressing of choice
  • Spring Mix Salad
  • Peaches
  • Cooked Shrimp, 16-20
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Place desired amount of dressing in martini glasses
  2. Add mix greens, peaches and Shrimp.
  3. Top with grated parmesan cheese

Bourbon Risotto


  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat pan.
  2. Bring stock to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer in small pot. Add oil and butter to pan and melt. Add shallots and cook until translucent.
  3. Add rice and toast but careful not to burn for about 2-3 min.
  4. Add wine and bourbon and let absorb.
  5. Now add in portions the stock until gone, stirring continuously for about 20-25 mins or until consistently you want.
  6. Once done add in more butter, parmesan and mascarpone and stir until blended.
  7. Place in a baking dish and level it off. Put in refrigerator to chill and set.
  8. Cut into squares and place in pan of butter, 2 tablespoons and lightly pan fry to a golden brown color.
  9. Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Bourbon Bread Pudding Bites


  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
  • 10 cups doughnuts
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg


  1. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, and put the cubed doughnuts in it. Sprinkle with the pecans.
  2. Whisk together the half-and-half, milk, eggs, butter, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the custard mixture over the bread in the baking dish, giving the bread a stir to make sure it's coated. Let the pudding sit for 1 hour, so the bread can fully absorb the milk.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once it is ready, put the dish in the oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until puffy and set. Remove, and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

All of these recipes are from Chef Scottie Johnson of Blessed and Highly Flavored Cuisine.

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