Everything you need to host a delicious, easy-going celebration with friends.
At its best, Thanksgiving is full of joy and copious quantities of food, with moments to give thanks, reflect, and relax. But let’s be honest, sometimes the holiday comes with a significant amount of stress. With the pressures of hosting, cooking, and managing your family dynamics, Thanksgiving can be a lot. That’s why we’ve become especially fond of Friendsgiving, the (mostly) stress-free event that’s become a welcome addition to the November calendar in recent years.
Usually occurring in the last two weeks of November, Friendsgiving is a meal shared with friends in the spirit of Thanksgiving, but with less pressure. Celebrations range in formality from low-key cocktail parties to over-the-top dinners with multiple courses. But what makes Friendsgiving special is that at its core — from the style of the event to the food served and the music playing in the background — how you celebrate is up to you. For a lot of us, that means festivities with a lot less fuss. At Friendsgiving, you can be more casual and let loose a bit. Don’t have a set of matching dishware? Not to worry, swap traditional fork-and-knife mains for snacky, satisfying bites, or go totally casual with single-use plateware made from sustainable materials (or even edible utensils).
Once you realize that you are not locked into serving specific dishes, you can experiment and let loose a bit in the spirit of this less-pressured gathering. The nature of this occasion welcomes a potluck-style exchange of flavors and cuisines among guests, which reinforces the sense of community and makes the day even less stressful.
Or, make your Friendsgiving even easier by focusing on snacks. A few fast hors d'oeuvres and appetizers can be your biggest allies for Friendsgiving (or Snacksgiving, as we like to call it). We like to play with traditional by offering a bounty of snack-sized versions of the classic Thanksgiving spread that are easy to prepare and serve. Consider making Chipotle-Cranberry-Glazed Turkey Meatballs in place of a centerpiece roast turkey and Bollitos de Papa y Elote (Potato Elote Bites) instead of a vat of mashed potatoes. We didn't forget about our beloved stuffing, either, with these Sausage-and-Apple Stuffing Bites. And we’ll round out our snack-tastic spread with these recipes for Mini Deviled Crab Cornbread Muffins, Three-Cheese Mini Macs, Green Peppercorn-Marinated Feta, and Bacon-Wrapped Dates.
Desserts can be just as fun and easy. Make these pumpkin spice snickerdoodles and chocolate cupcakes, both ready in under an hour and the perfect handheld addition to any bite-size Friendsgiving feast.
As for drinks, punch bowls like Citrus, Brandy and Pineapple Punch to Pomegranate Punch with Prosecco, party punch are the perfect accompaniment for any Friendsgiving celebration. Not into punch? Consider making Jell-O shots like these Mojito Jell-O Shots with White Rum and Fresh Mint for a handheld delight. Better yet, go all in with a Cranberry-Orange Sparkling Wine Gelatin.
Whether you call it Snacksgiving or Thanksgiving, this is a gathering that strays from tradition, lives a little, and lets you experiment in the kitchen. Dive in, and make a menu and ambience that is perfect for whatever mood and style you want.