If you guys are like me, you have spent the last two weeks brainstorming, researching, and pinning that perfect recipe to wow your friends for Friendsgiving. This year Friendsgiving has crept up on me as it’s a little earlier in the month. I’ve spent a significant number of hours perusing Pinterest trying to plan the perfect meals, the best tablescapes, and the right etiquette, so you guys can have your best Friendsgiving yet!
First and most importantly we have to discuss what to bring. What do you cook for a group of people who are all accustomed to their grandmother’s roasted turkey recipe she has been perfecting for 50 + years? How do you compete with that kind of experience? I’ve found some unique menu options that are Thanksgiving with a twist! No more competing with grandma!
First up, mac and cheese bites. What could be better than cheese and noodles all mixed together? Bite-sized versions of cheese and noodles all mixed together! Visit Chef in Training for this recipe of cheesy goodness.
Another great item is Sausage Rolls with Worcestershire Sauce. Warm sausage wrapped up in puff pastry, it’s what’s missing from your Friendsgiving menu. Get this savory recipe at Woman’sDay.com!
And moving on to spinach artichoke stuffed mushrooms. So good and a fantastic twist on a classic recipe. Now, I know mushrooms and spinach artichoke dip aren’t your typical Thanksgiving staples, but this is Friendsgiving which leaves a little room for experimentation. And they’re probably going to become a staple after all of your friends try them. Learn how to make these at Creme de la Crumb (how cute). This woman is a self-proclaimed, semi- professional taco eater, so she’s basically my spirit animal personified. And the really exciting news? There’s a video too! Or be lazy like me and buy some spinach artichoke dip from the deli, fill some mushrooms, bake, eat the rest of the dip in your bed while binging This Is Us. Welcome to happiness.
Next we need to discuss Friendsgiving etiquette. Typically you don’t have to worry about etiquette quite as much for Friendsgiving as you do for your formal family Thanksgiving meal, but there are still a few things you should remember. First, bring something. If you’re not a cook then contribute by bringing wine or drinks. If you’re using paper plates instead of using real place settings then be in charge of plates, cups, and plastic ware. If everything is covered, then offer to do the shopping or simply contribute money and lots of compliments! Second, if you’re hosting, you’re in charge of the main course. Whether that’s turkey, ham, chicken, tofurkey, whatever, that’s all you. It’s difficult to travel with a large amount of meat and keep it’s taste. If you are an absolutely amazing host but couldn’t fix a turkey to save your life then offer your kitchen to the friend who is. Break out the wine and have a Friendsgiving pre-party! Finally, don’t skip on the clean up. You came, you ate, now you clean up.
Another aspect to have the best Friendsgiving ever is the decor. You don’t have to be over the top, but a nice table linen wouldn’t hurt. If your friends aren’t really the decorating type, try using craft paper in place of a table linen that guests can write on throughout dinner. Throw a few pumpkins in the center and you’re done! One of my favorite ideas for fall tablescapes is using a scarf as a table runner. You can pick any of your plaid scarves, and it’ll do the trick. Or, try bunching it around some candlesticks. Easy, simple, done. If you happen to have a farm table large enough for your dinner crowd then add a few candles and a nice place setting and your table will be beautiful! If you are looking for a tablescape that kills then break out that fine china, candlesticks, and florals and go for it!
Lastly, Friendsgiving tips! Here are a few things to make the day go smoothly. As an event planner it’s my job to anticipate the hiccups that come with a party. Unfortunately, things happen that could have been easily avoided had someone thought ahead. Tip 1: Don’t assign the appetizers to the friend who’s always late. The last thing you want to run into is having all of your guests arrive with absolutely nothing to munch on while waiting for dinner to be ready. Tip 2: Be ready with to-go boxes. Either be prepared to say goodbye to a lot of tupperware or have already purchased some to-go boxes so everyone can divvy up the leftovers. Or, tell everyone ahead of time to come prepared with their own boxes! Tip 3: Hosts, clean up days early. If your dinner is Friday, start cleaning Monday. You know that saying, “things get worse before they get better”? That can easily apply to your clean up. You go to clear out that “coat closet” that’s basically just summer decor stored away at this point, and the next thing you know, you have beach umbrellas and faux sunflowers all over the dining room table. Get ahead of schedule and start the cleaning early. Save the simple and noticeable things like your counter tops and toilet bowl for the day before. Tip 4: Include an activity. Whether that’s as simple as writing down and sharing what you’re thankful for, or you play board games after dinner, have something fun to do. That way you can create memories aside form eating (which I imagine you do together pretty often as it is).