I think Friendsgiving is just the best. It’s something that my college friends and I started a couple of years ago, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite holiday traditions. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of Friendsgiving, it’s basically the same exact thing as Thanksgiving, except you get together with friends instead of family.

Friendsgiving 2015

Here are some reasons I love Friendsgiving so much:

–You don’t have to figure out how to split the day with your significant other so you can squeeze in time with both families.

–You get to feast before the actual feast. Bring it on.

Friendsgiving 2015: Bridget and Trina

–You don’t have to deal with potential family tensions. Remember that Thanksgiving and other major holidays can be very stress inducing and anxiety filled for some. Friendsgiving can fill that void.

–Friends are the family we choose. Aww.

Friendsgiving 2015

Friendsgiving 2015

–Wine. Lots of wine.

Me with Wine

This year, Tim and I hosted Friendsgiving for the first time. We were excited to have everyone over our apartment, especially since we’ve barely hosted anything since moving to this place in May (a little something called our wedding took over our lives this summer). We were also especially excited to use all our new shower and wedding gifts! We may not have enough matching chairs for everyone at the dining room table, but we had enough plates and flatware and even champagne flutes.

Friendsgiving Dinner Table

Friendsgiving 2015: Table

Tim and I planned the Friendsgiving menu ahead of time so we could avoid any last minute stressing the week of. We first choice the items we would make together, and then we asked our friends to contribute to the areas we thought we could use help with. Everyone filled in the blanks, and I think our menu turned out to be pretty stellar!

Here’s the rundown of our menu for you guys:

FRIENDSGIVING 2015 MENU

Drinks

Everyone brought their own preferred beverages, but we had beer and wine on hand. I also put together a fun fall sangria because I wanted to put our new drink dispenser and stand to good use. If you need a sangria recipe, try this one: 1 bottle of chardonnay, 2.5 cups fresh apple cider, 1/2 cup brandy, 3 apples (sliced), 3 pears (sliced), 1/2 cup seltzer to top right before serving, and cinnamon sticks for extra flavor and/or garnish. So yum. I doubled it for Friendsgiving, and it made a ton!

Fall Sangria

Appetizers

Tim and I made these apple brie appetizer bites. So flipping easy and delicious. Probably making them again for Thursday! You should too.

Apple Brie Appetizer Bites

Ashley and Chris brought shrimp cocktail and put together a cheese board, there was a delicious spinach and artichoke dip with dipping bread, and Slesh made her infamous homemade pretzel bites!

Appetizers at Friendsgiving 2015

Dinner

Tim and I bought an organic turkey from Whole Foods. I can’t take any credit for anything that happened with this turkey after it came home from the store, because this was all Tim and these tips from the Food Network. I do know that he put the slices of one lemon, the slices of one orange, large chunks of one yellow onion cut up, a bunch of rosemary, and 4-5 sprigs of thyme in the cavity of the turkey. He also melted 4 tbsp of butter to rub on the outside skin of the bird, and then applied a dry rub made out of dried basil, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Once this was prepped, he placed the turkey on a roasting pan, covered with tin foil, and placed in the oven for 25 minute at 500 degrees before reducing the heat to 350 degrees and cooking for 15 minutes per pound. In the last 20 minutes, he took the tin foil off the turkey. When the turkey was done cooking, he took it out of the oven, put the tin foil back on, and he let it rest for 45 minutes to an hour before slicing and serving.

Thanksgiving Turkey from Whole Foods

For the gravy, Tim used the drippings from the turkey, garbanzo bean flour, chicken stock, and salt and pepper!

Thanksgiving Turkey

Trina made her traditional Armenian rolls and also brought a fall harvest themed salad. When it comes to the bread at Thanksgiving, typically I’ll skip out on eating one because there are so many more food choices that are more exciting to me than a store bought dinner roll. However, a homemade family recipe? Bring it on.

Trina with Traditional Armenian Rolls

Friendsgiving 2015: Salad

Tim and I both wanted to make a stuffing, so I made the grain free sweet potato and apple stuffing that I posted last week, and Tim made his version with all the bread and all the meat. They were both delicious, and yes, we ate both.

Grain Free Sweet Potato and Apple Stuffing

Thanksgiving Stuffing

I also made my homemade cranberry sauce, a repeat appearance from last year.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Slesh and Will were in charge of roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. Both were awesome!

Roasted Vegetables for Friendsgiving 2015

Friendsgiving 2015 Mashed Potatoes

Dessert 

Bridget and Dave were in charge of bringing most of the desserts! She brought a small cake to celebrate Ashley and Chris, a box of the infamous Congdon’s donuts from the best bakery near her family’s house in Maine, and she also brought two pies.

Friendsgiving 2015 Dessert

I really wanted to make my lightened up apple crisp since I hadn’t made it yet this season, so I made that to add to the dessert options. This is a clean version of the more traditional way to make apple crisp, and every time I’ve served it people can’t tell the different. There’s no flour, no butter, and no refined sugar. Unless you are allergic to nuts, you really can’t go wrong with this one!

Lightened Up Apple Crisp

Lightened Up Apple Crisp

Finally, I also made these grain free pumpkin bars. I’ve only made them 25 times this season. They’re that good.

Grain Free Pumpkin Bars

And that’s that! Another Friendsgiving in the books.

Readers, let’s chat! Do you have a Friendsgiving tradition? What is an unusual menu item that makes it onto your table for either Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving?

I’m off to hot yoga before working from home today! Safe travels to anyone who still has to hit the road to get home for the holiday. I’ll be checking in tomorrow with one last Thanksgiving themed post for this year. Catch you then!

  1. What a fun tradition and your menu looks amazing!!! My Mom hosts Thanksgiving every year, but I’m in charge of the cooking and the menu. I went with a bunch of new apps this year, but kept everything else traditional, can’t wait 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. We did friendsgiving for the first time this year and it was so.much.fun! Congdons donuts makes me laugh- they were open 24/7 for a summer and I remember my boyfriend (at the time) and I got up at 3 in the morning to check it out! Also, I originally thought we didn’t need to put plates and stuff like that on our registry but a few weeks ago I realized how nice it would be to have a matching set of 6 or 8 (rather than 2 sets of 4 like we currently have).

    • I highly recommend getting a large number of matching plate settings. My mom works at Crate and Barrel and says the #1 regret of brides who come back in the store is that they only registered for a few. We registered for 12 and already put another 4 piece setting on our Christmas list because we don’t have enough to host a larger dinner party w/both sides of our family. My mom works the C&B private registry events (check them out if you haven’t already, not sure if you plan to register there or not), and she always recommends minimum of 12 to everyone!

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