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Friendsgiving Part 2: What to Take

Last week's post shared all the details on how to host a Friendsgiving celebration. Today, I'm coming back with part two: what to take to Friendsgiving. Deciding what to take to a potluck can be overwhelming, so I'm sharing some side options, a dessert, and a drink that your friends will love. The bulk of the prep can be done ahead with only a few finishing touches left for day-of. All you'll have to do is transport your dish to Friendsgiving.

See last week's post HERE.

The Cocktail:

Cranberry martinis are a fun twist on the classic Thanksgiving flavor. Make cranberry orange-infused simple syrup and combine with your favorite vodka. Refrigerate for at least two days. Before heading off to Friendsgiving, strain the cranberry mixture and stir in Triple Sec and cranberry juice cocktail. Pack up your cocktail mixture and a cocktail shaker and you're ready for dinner. In my experience, the friend who shows up to dinner with alcohol is usually the most popular friend - ha!

Making cranberry orange simple syrup

The Bread:

If you're in charge of bread, take Ina Garten's popovers. Popovers can be made ahead, frozen, then rewarmed at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. This recipe makes 12 popovers, so if you need more than that, you could make several batches over multiple days.

The Vegetables:

One make ahead option is to take mashed sweet potatoes. Roast sweet potatoes in the oven then add in heavy cream, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange juice. This is essentially a sweet potato casserole without marshmallow or praline topping. Your friends will love it. I find that roasting the potatoes in the oven is much easier than boiling them.

Ina Garten's version can be made ahead then rewarmed in the oven before serving. I baked mine uncovered in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes, but you could easily do a cooler oven for longer or a higher temperature for less time. Just make sure the potatoes are warm in the center. Cover the sweet potatoes in the baking dish with aluminum foil for easy transport. You could always ask to use your host's oven to rewarm the potatoes.

Another side option is crispy roasted kale. This is essentially a healthier potato chip. The kale is salty and crunchy: extremely satisfying. Wash and dry the kale the night before. Then the next day, the kale only takes 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven. You can roast the kale at home, transfer to a serving bowl, and cover for easy transport.

The Dessert:

You may be popular if you bring the booze, but if you really want to be the hero of Friendsgiving, take Ina Garten's pumpkin flan with maple caramel. This dessert tastes like pumpkin pie filling topped with homemade caramel. The spices are balanced out with orange zest, bringing a brightness to the dessert. Bake this a few days ahead, refrigerating it in the cake pan. Transport it in the cake pan and bring a plate or cake stand for serving. When you turn the flan out onto the serving dish the caramel will run over the top and pool around the base. It's extremely satisfying to watch and eat. (Make sure the serving dish has a rim so the caramel doesn't run off the edge.)


the Thanksgiving crackers were a hit!

Thanks for reading!

- Sam


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