It’s that time of the year! My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, but Friendsgiving is a close second. I love having my friends in our home, catching up and spending time together before the craziness of the holidays. But in reality, our home isn’t huge, specifically the kitchen. After years of hosting this annual tradition, my husband and I have somewhat gotten this hosting thing kind of figured out. I wanted to share some easy recipes and tips we have learned along the way, with some help with all the ingredients from Tony’s Fresh Market. They have some specials on turkeys, their produce is some of the best and I even got some of the table decor there. Best part of it all? You are just having your friends over, so it doesn’t need to be perfect! Some time spent together is really what it’s about.
I am sharing 10 tips along with our brunch Friendsgiving menu below. Welcome to cooking with the Good Life!
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, there are a lot of things we need to do. Whether it is cooking, creating the right place setting or finding the perfect hostess gift, Thanksgiving can be overwhelming. I have rounded out some great recipes and fun gift ideas to make your Turkey Day a little more enjoyable with your family and friends.
Beet Bruschetta with Lavender- Vanilla Honey Drizzle
I don’t know what says more than Thanksgiving than beets. It’s like a must right? So why not take those beets and turn them into something fun that everyone would like?! This recipe is from the Ryanne, the blogger at Pineappple Expression. Her stuff is always amazing and under 40 minutes, it is sure to be a serious crowd pleaser.
Prep and Assembly time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes Prep
Total Time: 40 minutes
1 French baguette loaf of bread
1 (5.02 oz) small package of Boursin Cheese (garlic and herbs flavor is best)
1 medium sized red beet
1 package of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh lavender
1/2 of a vanilla bean
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
First, preheat the oven to 375F. Peel and slice the beet into 1/4 slices. Place the slices on a roasting pan and toss with a light drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and a few sprigs of thyme. Roast the beets for 30 minutes, but flip after 15 for a more even cook. When the beets are done, pull from the oven and let them cool.
While the beets cool, slice the bread as you would for bruschetta. Coat lightly with olive oil and place in the oven under the broiler for a maximum of 5 minutes. The slices should still be soft, but have a nice golden color to the tops.
In a small bowl, combine the honey, lavender and vanilla bean (scrape the insides out to produce the black flecks) along with the apple cider vinegar. I love this combo!!
After the beets have cooled, chop into cubes as evenly as you can. 1/4 inch on each side. First cut into strips, then rotate the knife as you move through.
To assemble the toasts, use a butter knife to spread a layer of Boursin cheese onto each slice of bread. Next, crumble on a small mountain of the roasted beets. Using a spoon, drizzle a little bit of the honey mixture over the tops of each toast. Sprinkle with some coarse kosher salt or flaky sea salt on top. For more pizzazz, use the sprigs of thyme to garnish the plate.
Thanksgiving Wine Bottle Labels
Whether you are bringing wine or serving it, these Thanksgiving themed labels would get a good laugh from all your guests at the table. A set of 4 is $8.89 and available on Prime. Perfect for all wine lovers. Find them here.
Skinny Pumpkin Bars
Whether a pre-dinner snack or a dessert, these pumpkin bars are delicious. They are not overly pumpkin and the chocolate chips are a great addition. My son devoured three in one day (he’s 20 months) and I am not going to even tell you how many I ate…..
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 50 mins
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened (I tried margarine. It doesn’t taste the same)
2 eggs and 4 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 (15oz) can All Natural mashed pumpkin (I like Trader Joes and Aldi)
¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars; mix until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time; beating and scraping bowl with each addition.
Add egg whites; mix until fluffy.
Add applesauce and pumpkin; mix until all blended together
Add dry ingredients all at once and mix until thick consistency.
Add in mini chocolate chips.
Evenly spread into prepared cookie sheet.
Bake 23-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool and enjoy 🙂
Thanksgiving T-shirt- Turkey, Wine and Feeling Fine
Ok, I know this technically doesn’t go on the table, but how cute is this t-shirt? And pretty accurate right? Thanksgiving is about turkey, wine and RELAXING. It is available for men and women.
It is $17.99 and available on Prime. You can find it here.
Thanksgiving Party Boxes
I really like these party boxes for either your adult guests or a nice addition to your kids table. It can be filled with candy from a candy bar, leftovers or desserts to go, it is a cute way for your guests to leave with something special from the day. For a set of 12, it is $11.04 and available on Prime. You can find them here.
However you are celebrating, I hope you have a blessed day with friends and family, because in the end, that’s all that matters.