She cooks one meal and suddenly she thinks she’s the Barefoot Contessa! Over the weekend we hosted a mini Friendsgiving to get into a festive mood. Though we kept it to our small circle as a house, it was lovely to host again. We had an absolute feast (still eating leftovers now four days later). I thought I’d share some of the recipes we used as well as some that have caught my eye. I honestly feel that good food is one of the most basic forms of love, especially when sharing with friends!
Perfect Roast Chicken by Ina Garten
Because our only oven is v small and mildly temperamental, we decided to forgo the traditional Thanksgiving bird. Also several people at the dinner were vegetarians and none of the rest of us love turkey enough to eat it for the next two weeks. This recipe from our national treasure Ina Garten is *chef’s kiss*. Quick tip- the onions at the bottom of the baking dish will blacken but they aren’t for serving, instead use them and the chicken fat as the base for the gravy!
I always feel there are as many stuffing recipes as there are people. Cornbread base or bread base? Meaty or vegetarian? Or do we get creative! It’s up to you though these recipes have caught my eye: Wild Rice and Mushroom Stuffing from Epicurious or Plum Street Collective’s Sausage Apple Cranberry Stuffing.
Le classique! The hottest topic in the world of mashed potatoes seems to be whether you peel them for smoothness or leave the peels on for texture. I’m sure this is a heated discourse for many, so I say go with your favourite. And if you want to try something different maybe check out the Half Baked Harvest cheesy garlic potatoes recipe here.
Whether you are team green bean casserole or like a simple sheet pan veg assortment, you can’t go wrong with veggie sides. We went simple, letting the rainbow if colors shine with roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and purple and white cauliflower. Salt, pepper, and Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.
I feel like there are two schools of thought when it comes to cranberry sauce: homemade vs. canned. I fall in the first, and with a Cuisinart this cranberry, ginger and orange relish is too good to pass up!
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
1 large orange, chopped with the rind
one mid to large bag of fresh cranberries
3/4 to 1 cup of sugar or to taste
Pulse ginger, orange and cranberries in the food processor until chopped fine. Mix in sugar in a bowl, cover and chill for at least 30 min or better yet overnight. Keeps for 2 weeks.
I have no shortage of strong opinions, as you will know if you’ve read any of my blog posts or met me in real life. On most things I am willing to try new things- the exception is this recipe. It’s one my mother originally got from a lady at the church we attended when we lived in Newport, Rhode Island. It is hands down the best pecan pie on the planet (if there is chocolate in yours then I’m sorry but that’s a tart not a pie, them’s the facts)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup pecan halves
1 ten inch unbaked pie shell or follow this recipe from Half Baked Harvest
Beat eggs slightly, add sugar, salt, syrup, vanilla, butter. place pecans in pie shell then pour filling over them. Bake at 375 degrees farenheit for 45-60 minutes. Vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream to serve!
I am much more flexible with pumpkin pie. Whether you go for the classic ‘back of the can recipe’ or try something a little more adventurous, you can’t go wrong. I have made the following recipes before and each quickly disappeared from the plate.
Apple Ginger Cake
For those of among us who prefer cake to pie (gasp) this is a great festive alternative! My roommate found the recipe from NY Times Cooking.
I personally think salads can be a bit creative and spontaneous. Throw in whatever sounds good! For example baby kale, pomegranates, feta, toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios what have you). Maybe some pear slices or persimmons? Dress with a sweet vinaigrette.
The sexiest thing to happen to the appetizer table since the invention of fondue (though much less messy with the bonus of puff pastry). For melty cheese deliciousness look here. Spice it up by using apricot or fig jam.
Once again from our queen Ina Garten, long may she reign over our kitchens and our hearts. This is the tastiest, easiest appetizer short of buying a pre-made cheese board. 5 min flat plus there is something about warm rosemary that soothes the soul.
When I first heard about this recipe from my roommate my brain was very confused. But if pineapple and mango salsas are a thing why not apple? NY Times Cooking I will never doubt you again!
Berry Bourbon Smash Cocktail
Our friend created this boozy masterpiece from a Tiktok she watched. While I haven’t been able to sleuth out the exact video, this recipe is very close. We chose to add extra bourbon (quel surprise) and a bit of honey to draw out the flavours.
- crushed ice
- lemon juice
- mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- club soda
- honey to taste
- rosemary sprig to garnish
Cheers and Bon Appetit!