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3 Tips and Recipes for the Best 'Friendsgivng'

3 Tips and Recipes for the Best 'Friendsgivng'

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Cure holiday stress by spending time with friends

Friendsgiving requires nothing but good friends, good food, and good booze!

Sometimes, the holidays are a bit glorified. It’s not all smiles and laughter throughout the house. It can be overwhelming trying to make the perfect turkey, being a good guest, or spending a significant amount of time with your family. By the end of it, all you want is a break and some time spent with your friends.

There’s no better way to get excited for the holiday than with your friends by hosting your own "Friendsgiving."

Unlike Thanksgiving, ‘Friendsgiving’ is a relaxed and small get together. You can forget about your table manners and fancy dress clothes. This is a time when putting your elbows on the table or playing board games is acceptable. And most importantly, it’s okay to get a little boozy. After all, all these recipes require wine and are recommended to go with one!

Here are three tips chef Sam Talbot and Thorny Rose Wines have paired together to give us about Friendsgiving.

Tip 1:
Tag team! Ask guests to bring a side dish or a bottle (or two) of wine. Thorny Rose wines come with convenient twist-off caps, making them easy to pour and share anywhere.

Tip 2:
My Turkey Paillard with Cranbery Piccata Sauce recipe is an easy and delicious way to enjoy turkey on Thanksgiving without the hassle of preparing and carving a full turkey. Enjoy the juicy flavors of the turkey and cranberry with the medium-bodied and refreshing Thorny Rose Red Blend.

Tip 3:
Add 1/4 cup of the Thorny Rose Pinot Grigio to your Mushroom Chestnut soup for an instant flavor boost!

Who knows, maybe Friendsgiving could even be better than Thanksgiving this year!

Need some inspiration on what to bring? Try making any of these dishes:

For more turkey talk, visit The Daily Meal's Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving!

12 Friendsgiving Food Ideas to Make This Year&rsquos Gathering Your Best Yet

The key to a successful Friendsgiving is fun and delicious food ideas. Lucky for you, you&rsquore all set with these Friendsgiving-ready recipes.

If you’ve ever sat and wondered what to bring to a potluck, particularly Friendsgiving, or what to cook if you host Friendsgiving this year, we’ve got you with these Friendsgiving-approved food ideas. Friendsgiving, often a weekend celebration in mid-November before Thanksgiving rolls around, is the stress-free, family-free, fun gathering of friends who come together to fill their bellies before they do it all over again later in November. (Here’s when Thanksgiving is, so you can plan accordingly.)

Friends become family, especially when living away from home, and Friendsgiving is a way to celebrate this—not just in the states, but also internationally. And no celebration is complete without smart food ideas, a doable menu, and post-dinner party games. If you’re really leaning into the Thanksgiving theme at your Friendsgiving, don’t forget the Thanksgiving wishes and Thanksgiving table decor, too.

With an abundance of fall recipes, there’s no shortage of Friendsgiving food ideas. But Friendsgiving is more fun when it’s kept simple, with some surprising party food ideas sprinkled in the mix. Sure, turkey is welcome, but not always expected: Doesn’t everyone like the sides more, anyway?

Put these Friendsgiving food ideas to good work and make sure this year’s Friendsgiving menu is a tasty one. Have everyone pick one dish to make, or volunteer to make everything yourself (if you’re hosting) and ask for monetary contributions to cover food costs. However you divvy up the responsibilities, remember that Friendsgiving is an occasion for good cheer and great friends (and maybe a few Thanksgiving quotes, too) and do whatever will make this gathering the best yet.

The 10 Best Friendsgiving Appetizers

Friendsgiving is all about making your own rules. You can smash traditions and have a side dish-only potluck, or go rogue and make cake instead of pie. Ultimately, what makes Friendsgiving so great is that you’re supposed to have fun with it. Whereas the classic Thanksgiving meal is often about traditional dishes, Friendsgiving is a time to get creative, and maybe try something new. Or not! It’s your choice — make what speaks to you.

If you’re assigned to apps this year for Friendsgiving, it’s a great opportunity to make something a little unusual. Here are our 10 best Friendsgiving appetizers to consider for your potluck. If you love traditional hummus, try adding an electric red beet into the mix! Or, use your Instant Pot to make spicy deviled eggs or kale-laced artichoke dip. There’s something here for everyone.

10 Super Cool Star Wars Desserts for the Geek in All of Us

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.


Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!

What Is Friendsgiving?

Thanksgiving is a staple of family calendars, a chance for you to reunite with loved ones for a feast of turkey and stuffing, potatoes and pie. But cropping up on social calendars in recent years has been a bit of a Thanksgiving redux, a take two if you will — but this one has a unique twist. It&aposs Thanksgiving with your friends.

What is Friendsgiving?

Like mashed potatoes, the name Friendsgiving is a mashup of "friends" and "Thanksgiving." The gist is to celebrate the American holiday with your best friends, while feasting on turkey, stuffing, pie, and other traditional fare. There is no set date to host this event — pre- or post-Thanksgiving works just fine.

Friendsgiving tends to be more laid back because you&aposre hanging out with your people and not the weird uncle who resurfaces once a year. While many people peg the holiday party to the hit NBC show "Friends" — thanks to its many episodes incorporating the theme of gathering with friends for Turkey Day — there actually isn&apost an exact known origin. But who cares? You get to eat turkey and pie with your crew. Here&aposs how to plan and host the best Friendsgiving, ever.

1. You need an organizer

Do you have a friend whose pantry is organized with clear and labeled snack bins? That&aposs the person who should organize this special day.

8 Shortcut Recipes That Were Practically Made for Friendsgiving

It doesn’t get easier than Ree’s spiked cranberry sauce.

Related To:

Overhead shot of carved Make Ahead Thanksgiving Turkey on floral platter

If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait for Friendsgiving. Any holiday that allows for tons of eating is a win in my book, but it’s always better when you can chow down with your friends (no obligatory small talk with distant relatives necessary). Unfortunately, most of my friends are — to put it nicely — inexperienced in the kitchen. So, to avoid the inevitable beer and potato chips potluck, I’ve put together a list of Friendsgiving shortcuts: easy, stress-free recipes that won’t destroy the kitchen. If my most disaster-prone pals can master these, so can yours.

Let’s be real — you probably shouldn’t assign a Thanksgiving turkey to a takeout aficionado. That being said, anyone with basic cooking knowledge can tackle Ree Drummond’s make-ahead version. She has the butcher divide a turkey into pieces, then bakes it on a sheet pan the night before. On the big day, she sticks her turkey back in the oven to warm it up.


Food Networks Kitchen’s Make Ahead Sausage Stuffing for THANKSGIVING/BAKING/WEEKEND COOKING, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

This stuffing can be made up to two weeks in advance, so prepare it next time you have a few free hours. Come Friendsgiving, all you need to do is toss, cover and bake.

11 Ways to Have the Best Friendsgiving Ever

If Thanksgiving is what you do with your family, Friendsgiving is what you do with friends as you all try out this whole "being adults" thing. It&rsquos an exciting time! You should throw a dinner party to celebrate &mdash being a grown-up, having people you can call the family you choose, being alive. But don&rsquot let the prospect of hosting get you stressed. Here are 11 ways to make sure you have the best Friendsgiving ever.

1. Have enough food &mdash and wine. Especially wine.

This super-handy chart breaks down how much food you&rsquoll need depending on the number of people you&rsquore having over. I know what you&rsquore thinking: Only three bottles of wine to split between five people. OK, so have a few extra bottles just in case.

2. Consider starting the day with breakfast.

Why limit the Friendsgiving food to the turkey? With breakfast, you can get everybody in the house early (more hands to help you get ready for dinner). It makes the whole day feel more comfortable and more like family. Throw a sheet pan of bacon into the oven and cook it in bulk, then set out eggs so people can DIY however they like them &mdash you&rsquore not a short-order cook. Or prep a quiche or breakfast casserole the night before so all you have to do is turn on the oven and heat it up the next morning.

3. Have snacks on hand for munching on throughout the day.

People eat. It&rsquos unbelievable sometimes when you&rsquore a host how much food people can consume, but the last think you want to do is leave them hungry. So stock up on the bagged snacks. Even chips and crackers should be enough to keep your friends busy and fed instead of starving, omg, feed me now.

4. Give your friends a chance to reflect.

Losing the thanks in Thanksgiving doesn&rsquot mean you can&rsquot find a moment to express your gratitude. Cover your table with packing paper, then draw some lines at each setting for people to write down why they feel #blessed.

5. Cut yourself some slack.

It doesn&rsquot have to be "perfect." You can go easy on the decorations. Repurpose those mini pumpkins you picked up earlier in the season, or buy a mixed bouquet of flowers, split it up, and fill two small mason jars with the blooms.

6. Get it all premade.

If the thought of making your own decorations gives you the hives, just throw down a few dollars and buy Friendsgiving in a box. The kit pictured above even comes with boxes for leftovers. (Friendsgiving Kit, MAKR, starting at $49)

And, if you really can&rsquot handle cooking the turkey on your own, you can preorder a precooked turkey for pick-up at Whole Foods Market.

7. Make an easy cocktail and look really classy.

For something this easy, the payoff is pretty amazing. Mix 8 parts apple cider and 1 part dark rum (you can also use a whiskey such as bourbon) in a punch bowl (or a mixing bowl like the one pictured above). Add apple slices or cinnamon sticks and cloves if you want to make it extra cute.

8. Play a drinking game.

If you&rsquove gone the paper tablecloth route for giving thanks, this might be overkill, but here&rsquos one drinking game idea: Have everyone write down three things they&rsquore thankful for on a notecard. Keep the cards anonymous and the thankful clues vague. Then, have each guest choose a card. This person should read the clues out loud for the other people to guess who wrote the card. If the group can&rsquot figure it out, the reader keeps reading clues. If the group guesses who the card belongs to on the first try, the owner of the card drinks. If no one guesses, the owner of the card chooses someone who drinks.

9. Have containers for leftovers.

You&rsquore most likely a supremely generous host who prepared way more food than everybody had room for. In any case, there will be leftovers! You can&rsquot possibly eat all that food yourself, so give it away &mdash and have containers on hand so people can easily take their leftovers home.

10. Be prepared!

This is the boring stuff, but successful hosting is all about planning ahead and staying ahead of the stress. If you stay on top of the prep, then you&rsquoll be way happier about your decision to invite a ton of people over to your house for dinner. Yay, #blessed.

What to Bring to Friendsgiving This Year

Friendsgiving is an opportunity to break the rules. While a traditional Thanksgiving with your family almost always includes turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, Friendsgiving is all about shareable bite-sized recipes with fun twists. That means there’s a lot more appetizers (Sriracha deviled eggs!) and bite-sized desserts (hello, pumpkin bars).

We’ve rounded up our favorite Friendsgiving-friendly ideas for November. All you need to do is grab a gift for your host (like these delicious pumpkin paws) and make sure you have a good playlist for the Big Day.

1.Instant Pot Sriracha Deviled Eggs

This spicy take on classic deviled eggs is the perfect Friendsgiving appetizer. The eggs are also made in the Instant Pot, which means they’re super quick to make last-minute.

2. Macaroni and Cheese with Chard and Sage Bread Crumbs

This version of mac and cheese is filled with chard and topped with sage bread crumbs. It’s just the right kind of twist on the traditional side dish your friends will love to see on the table.

3. Sweet Potato “Crostini” with Blue Cheese and Honey

Blow your friends away with this unusual and delicious combination of flavors. The sweet potato acts as the “bread” of the crostini, and the blue cheese and honey are a unique sweet and savory pairing.

4. Shredded Brussels Sprout and Kale Salad

Every Friendsgiving needs a hearty salad, and this shredded Brussels sprouts number is a winner. Made with Brussels sprouts, kale, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and Parmesan, it’s filling yet light.

5. Parsnip “Pigs” in a Blanket with Chimichurri

We love this smart take on classic pigs in a blanket. Instead of a hot dog, parsnip is wrapped in buttery puff pastry. The chimichurri dipping sauce is also bright and colorful making for a striking Instagram moment.

6. Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bars

Instead of making pumpkin pie for Friendsgiving, try these gooey pumpkin bars. Made with pumpkin butter and pumpkin quick-bread, they’re great by themselves or topped with candied pecans and whipped cream.

7. Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower with Fried Tarragon

Every Thanksgiving menu should include mashed potatoes, so for Friendsgiving let’s shake things up a bit by adding a sneaky ingredient: cauliflower! The cruciferous veggie adds flavor and moisture to the traditional dish.

8. Roasted Carrots with Fennel, Pistachios and Honey Vinaigrette

These colorful carrots will pop on any Friendsgiving table. All you need is a bunch of rainbow carrots, fennel seeds, pistachios, honey, and white balsamic vinegar.

9. Cranberry-Pecan Pie

Instead of just making one kind of pie, combine a couple favorites! This cranberry-pecan recipe is the best of both worlds: you get the tart cranberries with the nutty, and rich pecans. It’s a perfectly balanced dessert.

10. Butternut Squash and Bacon Tart

Think of this dish as a Friendsgiving pizza! The comforting winter tart is topped with spiralized squash, crispy bacon, goat cheese, and sage. Get seconds while you can, because this dish will go fast.

Mushroom Pizza With Roasted Garlic and Mint

You'll never go back to delivery once you've tasted this awesome, homemade mushroom pizza. Cooking the mushrooms down before adding them to pizza dough, along with roasted garlic, fontina cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh mint, creates an intensely-flavored, unique, and utterly delicious pie.

Friendsgiving Menu

Today we’re talking about Friendsgiving. The past 3 years I’ve hosted 2-3 Thanksgivings per year. One or two with friends before the actual event and then one with my family the day of! Because why can’t we feast 2 times in the month of November?? It’s the right thing to do.

This year I’m teaming up with Anthropologie to put together the most epic Friendsgiving spread you’ll ever see. The menu was out of control delicious, the table couldn’t have been more beautiful and I’m officially obsessed. I’d actually like to live in these photos for the rest of the year… how do I make that happen??

This spread was a major team effort! Matt helped with the table design and all the photography, Adam and I developed all the recipes and he styled them to perfection, Kasey pulled the clothes from Anthro because she’s a stylist and she knows what’s up, Marissa did the flowers and I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off until it was time to eat and then I went to town!!

We wanted a super chic but approachable table that really embodied the California girl vibe here on What’s Gaby Cooking. That meant lots of blues, pops of gold and some really gorgeous food!

you can click on any of the links above the the individual recipes so you can mix and match them with other recipes to add to your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving meals!

Keep on scrolling for more pics and inspiration for your own Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving feast this year and hop on over to the Anthropologie site for more details on EVERYTHING in this post and grab some new tabletop items while your at it!

Festive Sips to Satisfy the Whole Bunch

Wine is always great to have for your meal, but while you’re mixing and mingling with friends, cocktails are the way to go. Make a big batch ahead of time so you’ll have enough to satisfy a crowd and won’t have to play bartender.

1 White Sangria Punch

We love punch-bowl recipes for get-togethers with friends. Our White Sangria Punch is a real crowd-pleaser. Fresh grapes, citrus, Sauvignon Blanc and Fentiman’s Ginger Beer mingle with rosemary sprigs for a refreshing sip.

2 Fall Sangria

We also have a delicious recipe for Fall Sangria made with red wine, cranberry juice, The Fresh Market Sparkling Mineral Water, blackberries, raspberries and pomegranates that your friends will love.

3 Cranberry Citrus Fizz

If you want something that sparkles, go for Cranberry Citrus Fizz made with sparkling lemonade, blood orange and cranberry juice. We use lemonade ice cubes in this recipe, so you won’t have to deal with a diluted drink!

4 Cranberry Blueberry Smash for a Crowd

Finally, our Cranberry Blueberry Smash for a Crowd is always a smash hit. Fresh mint, lime, bourbon and ginger beer play well with tart cranberries and blueberries.


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