I will start by saying, we had a fantastic Friendsgiving weekend! However, like most best laid plans, things did not go exactly as I thought they would. I did not hang the sparkly ‘Give Thanks’ banner I made last year, nor did I type up a menu or make place cards as planned. My husband and I finished cleaning the house the Friday night before, and we decided to take a nap because our friends were due to arrive around 11:30 pm. I started to realize that I wasn’t feeling so great, but managed to shake it off, even staying up talking for a few hours after our friends arrived.
The next morning, I felt slightly refreshed after getting some sleep, and we all went to Oliver’s Cafe for breakfast. The plan was to go shopping for the ingredients everyone needed after breakfast. By the end of breakfast, I still was not feeling great and I asked my husband if he could go shopping with my friend’s boyfriend, so all of the girls go stay home and I could relax. I felt worse when we got home, so it was ultimately decided that my husband would take me to the doctors and my sweet friends offered to do the shopping. I felt so guilty because we really needed to get started on shopping and cooking, and who wants to go to the doctors when you have a house full of guests and a dinner party to cook for? I was at the doctors for about two hours, which isn’t the longest time considering that it was last minute on a Saturday. Everything was okay, but it was determined that I was dehydrated, so I was sent home with instructions to put my feet up for the rest of the day and drink a lot of water.
When we got home, we found a clean kitchen. My friends cleaned up all the cups and snack dishes from the night before. They also went shopping for the remainder of the ingredients. The long, rambling point I am trying to make is, my friends are the best. They totally pulled together to make dinner happen when I wasn’t feeling well, and they even cleaned up all the dishes again after dinner, so I could lay on the couch. All in all, it turned out to be a good weekend, and dinner was only delayed by two hours. I got the ham in the oven, chopped veggies at the table with my feet up, and gave my husband directions to make the stuffing. Instead of the pie we planned to get, my other friends brought delicious homemade peanut butter cookies and apple cider donuts from Indian Ladder Farm for dessert! No, I did not put out the planned decorations, but to be honest, the table was full of food anyway. I also did not document the entire experience as thoroughly as I thought I would, but I still have some recipes to share! So to my friends-thanks guys! I love you all!
Here is what everyone made:
Turkey Cheese Platter
Sliced hard sausage
Two types of sliced cheese
Arrange all of your items on a flat platter platter to look like a turkey! It came out pretty fancy as you can see!
Chili Cheese Dip
1 can of chili
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Spread the cream cheese over the bottom of a glass dish and microwave it to soften it- about 30 seconds. Next, spread the chili over the cream cheese, and sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top. Microwave everything for about 4 minutes, or until everything is hot and melty. Serve with tortilla chips. This dip is so good. My friend learned to make it from her mom, and now I want her to make this every year!
We ultimately decided to make a ham instead of a turkey, because we figured everyone would be having turkey soon anyway! This is how my mom makes her holiday ham.
1 bone in ham (we used a 7 lb ham)
2 cans of Pineapple
1 can or small bottle of ginger ale
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place your ham in the baking dish, and pour the ginger ale over it. Next pat the ham with a little brown sugar. Place the ham in the oven, and bake it for 20 minutes per pound. For us, that ended up being 2 hours and 20 minutes. Once the time is up (don’t turn off the oven), remove the ham from the oven, and let it cool enough to cut it up into smaller pieces. Drain some of the liquid, but leave a little at the bottom of the pan. Reserve some of the liquid that you drained and add a few table spoons of brown sugar to it. Now you are going to drain about half of the liquid from the pineapple cans and pour the rest over the ham slices. Finish by pouring some of the brown sugar mixture over the ham and pineapple. Put the ham back in the oven for another 40 minutes to an hour to let the pineapple and juices soak in.
Bacon Bourbon Stuffing
I used the recipe from A Beautiful Mess. However, this year, instead of buying fresh loaves that I cut up, I used pre-cut hardened cubes from the bakery. I have to say, it did not come out as good. Buy fresh loaves of bread and cut them up the night before you use them. It makes all the difference. This recipe is also a great starting off point if you want to leave out the bacon or the bourbon and do your own thing to it. This Thanksgiving, I am making stuffing to bring to a vegetarian friend’s house, so I am excited to eliminate the bacon and possibly add fresh cranberries or something. Make it your own!
Sadly, I do not have the exact recipe my friend used to make these delicious potato croquettes, but I searched online for a recipe that seemed similar, and provided it for you here! He did a fantastic job, and made these shaped exactly like baked potatoes, which he swore was a happy accident.
Mac and Cheese
This is the recipe my girlfriend used to make us delicious mac and cheese. Clearly, we did not avoid dairy this holiday! This mac and cheese is actually called Smack Yo Mama Mac and Cheese, and was featured on Good Morning America. It really was that good, although nobody was smacked on Friendsgiving! The name did make us laugh though.
I did not get a picture of this, nor did I get the recipe for my friend’s famous cornbread! I do have two tips from her to share with you though. 1. Use a glass baking dish. Cast iron skillets tend to dry out the cornbread (this is very true- its happened to me multiple times). 2. Once it comes out of the oven, rub butter all over the top. I never said this was healthy cornbread!
Although I don’t have the recipe for the exact cornbread my friend made, I do have a really good recipe given to me by one of my husband’s coworkers. I used the above tips with this recipe yesterday, and it came out really moist and delicious!
1/2 cup butter (plus extra to spread on at the end)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup buttermilk (I had none, so I added 1 teaspoon go white vinegar to slightly under a cup of almond milk to make my own “buttermilk”. This trick works with regular milk as well. It’s a decent substitute. I even used the almond milk version in coleslaw once, and nobody noticed!)
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Preheat the oven to 375, and grease an small glass pan. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add it to a bowl and stir in the sugar and two eggs. Combine the buttermilk with the baking soda and stir the mixture into the other ingredients. Add the cornmeal, flour, and salt until it is well blended and only a few lumps remain. Pour the batter into a prepared pan. Bake the cornbread for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I baked mine for 35 minutes. Next, spread butter over the top, and let it seep in as it melts. Enjoy!
Believe it or not, but we did in fact eat something green on Friendsgiving! Sadly I did not get the recipe for these yummy green beans, but I believe they were sauteed and dressed with some kind of lemon, garlic sauce.
Remember when I made applesauce a few weeks ago? I brought out one of my jars for this occasion and sent a few back to Long Island with my friends. It was a big hit, so if you haven’t made some yet you totally should make some for Thursday!
I hope that you’ll try some of these recipes for your own celebrations this year! Don’t let the holidays get you down if things don’t work out exactly as planned. Sometimes they end up being pretty wonderful anyway!