How to Host the Perfect Friendsgiving
Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I love the food, the company, and the general feeling I get around this time of year. Being a transplant to Southern California, however, means I don’t always get to spend every Thanksgiving back home with my family. So I’ve learned to enjoy Friendsgiving – Thanksgiving dinner with your urban family (ie: friends.) I’ve been to a few friendsgivings in the past, which can vary from just a potluck dinner, to an entire day full of activities, game and food.
Here’s a collection of my favorite friendsgiving activities and menus to help your holiday of gratitude feel extra fulfilling.
I know it’s so cliché, but I love getting a group of friends together at an open park to just play a round of tag-football. Depending on where you live, the weather may not permit this, but living in SoCal, you can pretty much bank on the fact that the weather is still going to be gorgeous during Thanksgiving. If you aren’t into football, soccer or wiffle ball are also fun group alternatives. The point of getting everyone to play a sport is to be moving around before you sit down to gorge yourself with mashed potatoes! Even a round of adult freeze tag is enough to get the blood flowing and the giggles going.
I’m a HUGE fan of board games. From fast paced games like Bogle, to long strategy games like Settlers of Catan. I prefer to play board games after dinner when everyone is still huddled around in doors. I think it’s a great way to get everyone together after a heavy meal, to keep the energy up! Some crowd favorites: Yatzee, Catch Phrase, Cards Against Humanity, and Pie Face. (*If you’re going to play pie face, make sure someone has a phone ready to record some hilarious slo-mo videos).
When it comes to friendsgiving I’m a big believer in pot luck style dinners. It’s hard and expensive for one person alone to host and make all the meals. So sharing the duties makes the experience more fun (getting to try everyone’s favorite home made dishes). Here are a few of my favorite things to contribute to a friendsgiving potluck:
Trader Joes Green Bean Casserole
- 1 ½ tbsp. butter
- 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
- 1 bag Trader Joe’s sliced crimini mushrooms
- ½ cup sweet onion sliced
- 1 ½ bags haricots verts (thin green beans) (or 18 oz.)
- 1 container Trader Joe’s cream of portobella mushroom soup
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ¼ cups shredded swiss cheese
- 1 cup Trader Joe’s gourmet fried onion pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat olive oil and butter in large heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Add mushrooms and saute until they become soft and lightly browned. They will shrink significantly.
- Add onion and continue to saute until lightly browned.
- Add green beans and saute until heated through. Covering the pot helps to heat them all the way through.
- Add soup and water to skillet, mix and heat thoroughly. Again, covering the pot helps.
- Add mixture to casserole dish.
- Top with cheese and fried onion pieces.
- Bake until cheese melts and becomes warm and bubbly – about 10 minutes.
Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Bake
2 Cups Sweet Potatoes
2 Cups Butternut Squash
¼ cup soft butter
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
1 cup of wet steel cut oatmeal
1 cup of diced green apples
½ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375.
Chop and boil sweet potatoes and butternut squash until slightly soft. Place chunks in ceramic/glass container. Whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal. Pour overtop the potatoes and squash. Sprinkle pecans and apples overtop. Place in the oven.
Let cook until golden brown (20-30 min.)
Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit Rolls
You’ll have to pre-order, but they’re incredibly delicious and require zero prep! You just pick them up and bring them along! Always a crowd favorite.