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Looking for that dish that doesn't cost too much money, will be a crowd-pleaser, and, oh, is ready in under an hour because you forgot that Friendsgiving was tonight? We've got you covered.
Let’s face it: Thanksgiving stresses us all out way more than it should. But, lucky for us all, there is such a thing called Friendsgiving, where we give thanks for the people that we have chosen to be in our lives. Isn’t that the greatest gift that friendship has to offer? Most family Thanksgiving celebrations don’t change too much from year to year. Grandma always makes this, Dad always makes that, and the kids all help out here and there.
When it comes to Friendsgiving, however, you have many more variables to consider when planning out this fun get-together. The key to a happy and successful Friendsgiving is not bringing the most impressive and outlandish food that blows everyone else’s contribution out of the water. That is not the point. Instead, the dish that you bring should not take you an eternity to make and require you to spend a bunch of money on ingredients that you definitely do not have.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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If this year’s Friendsgiving crept up on you, and you need a dish right NOW, you have come to the right place. We thought we’d take the indecision out of this seemingly overwhelming choice and get straight to business. The ultimate and absolute best dish that you should bring to your Friendsgiving this year is our Spiced Two-Bite Apple Tarts. If you’re not convinced that these are what you should be sporting to this year’s event, allow me to explain.
Best Recipe for Friendsgiving: Spiced Two-Bite Apple Tarts
What’s great about this recipe is that it’s easy, quick, can be made ahead and assembled right before the party, draws from ingredients that you already have (maybe you have to go buy two apples, a lemon, and the crème fraîche), and everyone loves a good apple tart (people that don’t should not be invited to events such as Friendsgiving).
They’re picture perfect, (Instagram, have you heard of it?), and their size is just right. Rather than fussing over pastry dough and slaving away at a pie, these are much more straightforward. Plus you don’t have to deal with the anxiety of cutting the first slice and then people being afraid to serve themselves (we all know which friends I’m talking about here).
The moral of this story is that Friendsgiving should be pure, unrated FUN! You don’t have to worry about avoiding those touchy subjects that extended family always love to bring up or saying something that might offend your elders.
What Is Friendsgiving?
Thanksgiving is a staple of family calendars, a chance for you to reunite with loved ones for a feast of turkey and stuffing, potatoes and pie. But cropping up on social calendars in recent years has been a bit of a Thanksgiving redux, a take two if you will — but this one has a unique twist. It&aposs Thanksgiving with your friends.
What is Friendsgiving?
Like mashed potatoes, the name Friendsgiving is a mashup of "friends" and "Thanksgiving." The gist is to celebrate the American holiday with your best friends, while feasting on turkey, stuffing, pie, and other traditional fare. There is no set date to host this event — pre- or post-Thanksgiving works just fine.
Friendsgiving tends to be more laid back because you&aposre hanging out with your people and not the weird uncle who resurfaces once a year. While many people peg the holiday party to the hit NBC show "Friends" — thanks to its many episodes incorporating the theme of gathering with friends for Turkey Day — there actually isn&apost an exact known origin. But who cares? You get to eat turkey and pie with your crew. Here&aposs how to plan and host the best Friendsgiving, ever.
1. You need an organizer
Do you have a friend whose pantry is organized with clear and labeled snack bins? That&aposs the person who should organize this special day.
Vegan Side Dishes to Bring to Friendsgiving—Complete With YouTube Tutorials
… not OK. But don’t fret. There are so many delicious vegan Thanksgiving side dishes to choose from that the hard part won’t be bringing a vegan dish—it’ll be choosing only one to bring.
What Should I Bring to Friendsgiving?
A vegan side dish, of course—here are some great options you might consider:
1. Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
For a healthy and delicious take on the typical mashed potato side dish, consider making vegan garlic mashed cauliflower.
2. Thanksgiving Stuffing
There are so many different ways to make vegan stuffing. For any recipe, make sure that your bread is egg– and dairy-free, that your butter is vegan, and that your broth or stock is made from vegetables.
3. Mac and ‘Cheese’
Blow your friends’ socks off with a vegan baked mac and cheese dish.
4. Dinner Rolls
Is it really Thanksgiving Friendsgiving without some dinner rolls? For pull-apart ones that’ll rival grandma’s, watch below:
5. Cranberry Sauce
Some cranberry sauces are made using white cane sugar, which can be refined with animal bone char. Check out this recipe from The Happy Pear:
All you’ll need is cranberries, orange juice, agave syrup, and chia seeds!
6. Green Bean Casserole
What’s a Friendsgiving celebration without a green bean casserole to cut into? Try this easy vegan and gluten-free recipe:
7. Sweet Potato Casserole
Speaking of casseroles, you can’t forget the sweet potato kind! Thrive Market has everything you need to make this one—just add sweet potatoes:
8. Brussels Sprouts
For a recipe that’s sure to tantalize even the pickiest of eaters, try our Maple-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Cranberry Wild Rice:
9. Stuffed Acorn Squash
For something a little fancier, consider bringing a stuffed acorn squash side dish. This one with vegan sausage, green apple, and walnuts is a surefire crowd-pleaser:
10. Glazed Carrots
No Friendsgiving table would be complete without some sort of yummy carrot dish. These balsamic glazed carrots look almost too good to eat:
Animals are friends, not food. They don’t belong on serving platters, whether it’s a holiday celebration or a random Tuesday night dinner.
Give your friends—all your friends—something to be truly thankful for.
Bringing a vegan Thanksgiving side dish to your Friendsgiving potluck is a win-win situation: You and your friends will eat healthier, and you’ll save animals’ lives. Step up your game by bringing a few vegan starter kits with you to Friendsgiving to pass out:
What The Dish You Bring To Friendsgiving Says About You
The leaves have changed, the temperature is dropping, and if you haven’t already loosened your belt a notch since August, you’re not treating yourself right. The holiday season is fast approaching, and within the next week or so, it’s time to kick it off with the first big event. For everyone that checked your calendars and are racing to the comment section to call me out on not knowing when Thanksgiving is chill. I know when the greatest holiday of the year is. But as awesome as Thanksgiving is, it’s not the first holiday up.
Everywhere across the country, 20-something-year-olds are gathering together to celebrate a pre-thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Light™, if you will. I’m talking, of course, about Friendsgiving. The time where we all come together to use the spirit of the holiday as an excuse to get drunk and hang out together like we do every weekend. The only difference is this time we bring food. But what are you bringing? If you think you can just wing it, you’re not taking this nearly as seriously as you should, because the dish you bring will tell everyone just what kind of person you are.
The Pie (Store Bought)
You’re a people pleaser. You don’t particularly care about what to bring, what to eat, or what the dress code will be. You just want everyone to have a good time. And there’s no better way to ensure a good time than with the undisputed king of Thanksgiving pies. Apple, peach, pecan, and (of course) the GOAT, pumpkin pie. They’re relatively cheap, always delicious, and you can pick up a couple from the grocery store on your way to your friend’s apartment when you realized you forgot to make something. You might be the ultimate lazy millennial, but no one’s going to hate on you bringing sweet deliciousness to the table. Way to crush it on a budget, my friend.
The Pie (Homemade)
You cocky son of a bitch. You might try and play this off with phrases such as “Oh I just whipped these up,” and “I just love getting into the festive season,” but we all know the truth. The only thing you love is basking in the sweet, sweet praise of everyone at the dinner table. You think that you’re most the mature, adult, Martha-Stewart-like friend in the group, and you want that feeling validated. You probably started testing recipes and baking trial runs before the Facebook invite for this event even went out, and you have the balls to look your friends in the eyes and condescendingly say, “Oh I just spend a few hours baking, it wasn’t a big deal for me at all?” I hate you, but I will begrudgingly pay your pies a compliment as long as you don’t push your luck and start talking about buying the ingredients from the farmer’s market. A man can only withstand so much bragging.
The Mashed Potatoes
Your heart is in the right place, but you’re a fool. You probably made this dish because it’s relatively easy, delicious, and everyone enjoys it. But what you didn’t realize is you just brought a dish to compete with everyone’s mothers’ mashed potatoes, and it will never live up. Subconsciously, everyone knows that their mom’s mashed potatoes are the best. They’re made from whole potatoes, butter, milk, a dash of love, a sprinkle of holiday spirit, and with some nostalgia to taste. You think your mashed-potatoes-out-of-a-box can compete with that? How dare you insult my mother with that store-bought garbage! I’m sorry. That was out of line. That’s just what bringing mashed potatoes to the table does. You should have just brought gravy, you poor, sweet idiot.
The Side Dish
Green beans. Stuffing. Roasted veggies. Mac N Cheese. Salads. Gravy. That’s the sweet spot. You’re a good friend, but you’re not trying to steal the show. You have a side dish that you make reasonably well, and you stick within your wheelhouse. No need to show off or break the bank you just want to bring something to show that you care, but what you really care about is spending time with your friends. You don’t take yourself too seriously, but your friends know that they can count on you.
You’re selfless, and as much as the homemade pie person hates it, you’re the true backbone of this group. Making a turkey takes patience, hard work, and honestly, a good chunk of change. More importantly, turkey is inherently not a very good meat. It’s dry, tasteless, and even prepared by the best of cooks, no one really likes it. That’s why you’re the leader of this group. You’re doing a thankless job for your friends, who will most likely eat a sliver of the 16-pound turkey you bought before sticking exclusively to the sides which are actually tasty. However, even though no one really wants it, the turkey is what create the ambiance of Thanksgiving that fosters friendship and love. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. You probably also hosted this Friendsgiving, and your kindhearted ways have not gone unnoticed.
You’re the baby of the group. You literally just have to swing by the store and grab several bottles of $15 wine and a variety pack of fall beers. It will probably take you all of four minutes. There’s a reason you’re buying the alcohol though, and that’s because you can’t be trusted with anything more complicated. You’re the friend that constantly needs to be told to close your tab before you leave the bar or reminded if there’s a dress code because otherwise you’ll show up everywhere in jeans and a faded t-shirt. Don’t let it get you down, however. Your friends may not expect a lot from you, but they still trust you. Hell, without the booze, Friensdgiving doesn’t exist, so just enjoy your minimum responsibility and all the attention you get when you show up late with everyone’s alcohol.
Get the fuck out of my dining room. It’s called Friendsgiving, not Mooch-giving. Show some respect to the holidays. .
Listen to the guys from Touching Base break down Friendsgiving and more on iTunes and SoundCloud.
This Is What Food Network Staffers Are Making for Friendsgiving
When you're new to Friendsgiving, it's hard to decide what dish to bring. The event is less traditional than Thanksgiving, but a bit more advanced than a casual pizza night with your besties. Our advice? Follow our lead and prepare these staffer-approved picks for your Friendsgiving get-together.
I’m relatively new to the deviled egg game — I had never had one until after I graduated college! — but now that I’m in it, I’m obsessed. They’re ideal for a Friendsgiving appetizer spread, because not only are they easy to make ahead of time, but they’re pretty inexpensive if you’re serving a crowd: just pick up a dozen eggs and use your refrigerator staples. This recipe is traditional, with classic flavors and guaranteed results. Start here if you’re new to the game too. But if you want to dress things up a bit, try substituting pickle juice for the vinegar (you will not be sorry, promise!) or add a few dashes of hot sauce to the filling mixture. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the dusting of paprika on top. I go heavy on that and add a few snips of fresh chives too.
- Maria Russo, Senior Editor
For this year’s Friendsgiving , I’m planning to make a Citrus-Walnut Salad from Food Network Kitchen. I know there’s controversy around whether or not you should include a salad in your Thanksgiving spread. But I grew up in a family that always included a seasonal salad, and this one definitely fits the bill. It has blood oranges, sturdy greens and lots of spicy pink peppercorns. It’s a perfect pair to your other Friendsgiving side dishes!
You’re all about eating a balanced diet, Sag, and root vegetables are high on your list of good-for-you foods. Which, given the season, is a home run when it comes to Thanksgiving sides. These roasted root vegetables hit all the autumn notes.
With those earthy elements tugging at your diet, Capricorn, you need and love some fresh raw salad in your life to feel good about yourself (let’s just say you have a penchant for deep dish pizzas more than you𠆝 like). Be the GOAT of Friendsgiving this year with a winning autumnal salad.
Staff picks: Dishes you’ll want to bring to Friendsgiving
With Thanksgiving only a day away, it’s time to get serious about what to bring to Friendsgiving.
Depending on where you come from and your cooking style - traditional, renegade or a blend of both - you may be open to some new recipes for Thanksgiving sides and desserts for the feast this year.
We are here to help. We asked a handful of staff reporters, editors, designers and photographers to pick some of their favorite recipes for the holiday table.
Like the North Bay community at large, we are a hybrid tribe hailing from many corners of the country and the globe, ranging from the suburbs of the Midwest to the cities of Sweden, from the stormy shores of New England to the tranquil wetlands of the Petaluma River.
We are all united, however, by the common language of food.
As you prepare to gather around the table, to celebrate the 1621 feast - when the Pilgrims of Plymouth dined with the Wampanoag people of Massachusetts, sealing a treaty that lasted more than 50 years - we hope your Thanksgiving is full of gratitude for the bounty of Sonoma County and overflowing with warm memories of holidays past.
Sofia Englund of Santa Rosa joined The Press Democrat in 2016 as the digital editor of Sonoma Magazine:
“I celebrated my first Thanksgiving in 2014, as a recent immigrant from Sweden. At that time, my idea of this quintessentially American holiday was informed by Hollywood films: strained family get-togethers and food mishaps, like in “Home for the Holidays,” or the stress that comes with holiday travels - albeit with comic relief - in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” Not that dissimilar from Swedish Christmas celebrations, only in America, there is roasted turkey instead of roasted ham, and no schnapps.
“Thankfully, Thanksgiving with my American family - my husband, Joshua, and his parents, Susan and Robert - was less dramatic. The turkey was cooked to perfection, and everyone liked the side dishes I contributed: a broccoli Gruyère gratin and sautéed haricots verts with shallots (courtesy of Jacques Pepin). The conversation was convivial the table setting beautiful. The whole of Thanksgiving Day was like the denouement of those Hollywood films - when the turkey is saved and the dust of the arguments swept away, replaced with warm congeniality and holiday spirit (sans the excess of Hollywood cheesiness).
“Now, my idea of the November holiday is Susan’s pumpkin pancakes on Thanksgiving morning, followed by a lively kitchen table conversation and a walk in Crane Creek Regional Park. And then that first bite of dinner: a slice of turkey, some sweet potato, a little bit of greens and a dollop (or two, or three) of Susan’s delicious cranberry relish.”
1 package fresh cranberries
- Slivered almonds, for garnish
Combine all ingredients and heat to boiling, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Boil until cranberries all pop, about 5 minutes.
Garnish with a sprinkling of slivered almonds. Can keep 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Jonathan Byrd lives in Santa Rosa and is design desk chief at The Press Democrat, where he has worked for 10 years:
“My late father was an avid gardener who instilled in my elder sister and me an appreciation of fresh produce. Many summers of my youth were spent tending to rows upon rows of plants alongside him and my late mother in the half-acre plot he cultivated near my family home in northeastern Ohio. Toiling in the dirt on the swelteringly hot days was an activity that I then loathed but now is a memory that I cherish. Most of my adult life, after having moved out West, I’ve rarely spent the holidays with my family. This recipe from Jamie Oliver’s ‘The Naked Chef Takes Off’ - it multiplies easily - reminds me of a passion my father shared with us that continues to give me joy.”
Jonathan’s tip: Don’t try to make this salad when you feel like it - make it when you can get perfectly ripe pears.
Watercress, Arugula, Sweet Pear, Walnut and Parmesan Salad
1 pear, peeled (only if the skin is not nice), cored and sliced lengthwise
- Black pepper, freshly ground
1 handful Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, shaven
If the pear skins are nice, just give the fruit a wash if not, remove the skins with a vegetable peeler. Cut the pear in half, remove the core and slice it lengthwise into pieces.
Place the pear in a bowl with the watercress and arugula. Drizzle with the olive oil just to coat, and add 2 small squeezes of lemon juice. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss it all together and divide it onto two small plates. Shave over some Parmesan or Pecorino. Crumble the walnuts over the bowl and serve.
Beth Schlanker of Petaluma joined the newsroom in August 2010 as a photographer:
“When I was growing up, my family would go to my grandparents’ house west of St. Louis every Thanksgiving. All my cousins, aunts and uncles would gather there. It was always a potluck, and my grandfather would run the kitchen and my grandmother would bake.
“They had an old coffee can full of bacon grease and would use it to season the green beans. They weren’t fancy cooks, but everything was delicious. They lived in a German community, so there was German red cabbage and German potato salad. My dad made this corn casserole every year, and it was the ultimate comfort food.”
1 package of Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 red and 1 green chopped pepper ( green chili pepper could be substituted for green pepper to add a little heat)
1 stick of melted butter (Kerrygold preferred )
1 bag of frozen yellow corn, thawed
1/2 cup cream or half and half ( if using milk, then add 1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- Bacon bits or cheddar cheese (optional)
- Paprika and dried parsley (to finish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased casserole dish. Top with paprika and dried parsley.
Bake at 400 degrees for about one hour.
Nashelly Chavez of Petaluma joined the Press Democrat newsroom in the summer of 2018 as a reporter:
“Here’s my aunt’s recipe for her Papas à la Diabla. Her husband is one of my dad’s brothers. She began making this dish for our holiday get-togethers a few years ago, and now we all look forward to it every holiday season. We do a big potluck-style dinner for both Christmas and Thanksgiving, and this is always one of the first things I look for when making my plate because oftentimes it runs out. It’s not uncommon to have ?30 to 40 people or more all celebrating in the same home. It’s really intended to be like an appetizer if people are hungry before the main meal, though for our festivities, that’s not really how it works.”
Tip: If you go with larger potatoes, cut the potatoes in fourths and cut down the cooking time. The potatoes should only be half-cooked after the first round of cooking.
2-5 pounds of cambray potatoes (or any baby potato)
1 tablespoon of chicken-flavored bouillon (from Knorr)
Boil the potatoes with half a tablespoon of salt for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and place potatoes in strainer.
Heat half a cup of cooking oil in a frying pan and fry the potatoes on medium heat for about 5 minutes, then turn off heat.
In another pan, add the other half of the cooking oil and fry the chiles, the garlic and the onion on medium heat, but not too long or they will go sour. Move the pan quickly over the flame for a few minutes so that the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Move the chiles, garlic and onion into a blender with the white vinegar, salt, black pepper and the chicken-flavored bouillon. Blend.
Reheat the pan with the potatoes and coat them with the mixture in the blender. Mix well for about 5 minutes until the potatoes soak up the salsa and are only a little dry.
Turn off the heat and add more salt to taste if needed. Sprinkle oregano over top.
Diane Peterson joined The Press Democrat newsroom in 1984 and has been writing about food since 1998:
“Growing up in Philadelphia with two parents from New England, my memories of childhood Thanksgivings involve an 8-hour trip to Boston’s North Shore, where my grandmother would cook an elaborate turkey feast with a grand array of veggie sides and pies.
“My mother was not a very enthusiastic cook, but her Yankee roots ran deep. In her later years, she always brought her Scalloped Oysters to my brother’s house for Thanksgiving. After I moved to California in 1980, I started bringing her oysters to our friends’ potlucks. It’s a very simple dish. Like the Clam Stuffies of Rhode Island, it’s held together by a mortar of butter and breadcrumbs - but it never ceases to impress, especially the Southerners in the crowd with a fondness for the meaty mollusks. It’s very rich, so you don’t need a lot to feel satisfied. However, I usually double the recipe so everyone can have a taste.”
Tip: “Some people make this dish with Saltines, but I always use Ritz crackers. The jarred oysters can be found at Oliver’s Markets or Santa Rosa Seafood. It’s important to make only two layers of oysters so that all the oysters cook through. My mom always used a square Cordingware glass dish.”
4 tablespoons oyster liquid
2 tablespoons milk or cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the bread and cracker crumbs and stir in melted butter. Put a thin layer of crumbs in the bottom of a shallow, buttered baking dish. Cover with one layer of oysters and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons oyster liquid and 1 tablespoon milk or cream. Repeat.
Cover the top with remaining crumbs. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes. When it’s bubbling and brown, it’s done.
Abigail Peterson joined The Press Democrat newsroom as the editorial director of Sonoma Magazine in August of 2019:
“Thanksgiving is my husband’s favorite holiday, and we host a big one each year with family and neighbors. We gather everyone around one long folding table that stretches from the dining room right into the living room and decorate it with olive branches, rose hips and persimmons from our orchard. We serve all the Thanksgiving favorites. But because my father-in-law is Russian, we also have a beef stroganoff, and we start with pickled herring and vodka shots.
“My two middle-school age boys love these Brussels sprouts - their nickname for this dish is bacon salad. I love them because they help me fill my plate with greens so I don’t feel as stuffed after all is said and done. We’ve had them every year for at least the past 15 years. I originally adapted the recipe from one in Sunset magazine, where I worked for years before moving to Sonoma.
“This one comes together quickly, and it’s best to make it just before so that the Brussels sprouts stay green on the plate. My advice? Dice the bacon and slice the sprouts early in the day, then pull the dish together while the turkey rests.”
Paul and Walter’s?Bacon Salad
2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts with a knife or a mandoline and set aside. Dice the bacon and brown slowly on medium-low heat so most of the fat is rendered and you’re left with the chewy bits. Remove the bacon and drain off all but 3 tablespoons of bacon fat, then add the shaved Brussels sprouts and thyme to the hot pan and briefly sauté in bacon fat to wilt the sprouts. Add the browned bacon you’ve set aside, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Brett Wilkison joined The Press Democrat’s newsroom as a reporter in 2010 and has worked as an editor overseeing local news since 2014:
“This recipe comes from my parents, who first had flan together around 1970 when they were newly married and traveling in Spain. They were living in western Germany, near the small U.S. Air Force base in Birkenfeld where my father was posted for several years after his tour in Vietnam. My mother tells funny stories from that time of teaching herself to cook - some dishes that were so bad they had to be buried in the yard. But this one was a winner. It comes from the 1965 edition of James Beard’s “Menus for Entertaining,” bought by my parents at the base exchange. My mother, who by the way became a great cook, isn’t much of a dessert person. She has a theory about why this one stuck in our family of two boys. ‘Flaming dessert was probably the draw,’ she said.” The Spanish dessert became a Thanksgiving favorite for the family.
A few tips from Brett’s mom: “The baking pan we use is a gelatin ring mold with the center cut out. Put the caramel coating in the bottom and then add the rest of the mixture. Go easy on the sugar. After cooking and cooling, flip the pan upside down onto your serving platter to release. To add flair as you serve, turn out the lights for the full flaming effect.”
2 tall cans (16-ounce) evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
6 tablespoons cognac or rum
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put 1 cup of the sugar into a deep pan (such as a gelatin ring mold) in which you can bake the custard.
Place over a low flame, and stir constantly until the sugar melts and turns a gold color.
Tilt the pan, and allow the caramel to coat it entirely. Set aside to cool while you make the custard.
Beat the egg whites and yolks together. Add the evaporated milk, the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla.
Mix well, strain into the caramel-coated pan, and place the pan in a larger pan containing hot water.
Bake for about an hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool slightly and turn out on a platter while it is still warm (or else the caramel will stick to the sides of the pan).
When you are ready to serve, heat the cognac or rum slightly, pour over the flan and ignite.
Yovanna Bieberich of Petaluma was a reporter/features editor for the Petaluma Argus-Courier for 15 years before joining the The Press Democrat as a copy editor/designer in 2015. In her free time, she runs a blog at healthyeatingessentials.com:
“This is my great-grandmother Muriel Krick’s recipe for a tangy, sweet, light cranberry sherbet. She served this at Thanksgiving and Christmas for dessert. My aunt Cheri, who passed the recipe on to me, said that my great-grandma always doubled the recipe because the kids loved it so much and there was never enough of it. I met my great-grandpa and great-grandma Krick at their home in Decatur, Indiana, once but never had a chance to celebrate the holidays with them since my mom and dad moved to California shortly after I was born. Thankfully, I get to think of them during the holidays through this recipe.”
Tip: Start making this a couple days before you want to serve it since it needs some freezing time.
Great-Grandmother’s Cranberry Sherbet
2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin dissolved in ?1/8 cup cold water
In a saucepan, cook the berries in 1 cup of water over medium heat until the berries burst. Remove from heat and press the berries through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and skins, collecting the juices in a bowl.
Add prepared gelatin and sugar to the hot berry liquid and stir well until sugar is dissolved. Let it cool.
Once cool, add ginger ale to the berry liquid and freeze it in a shallow tray or bowl (my great-grandma used metal ice cube trays) until fairly hard but still with a mushy consistency (4 to 5 hours, but keep checking). You don’t want it frozen solid, but you don’t want it runny either - mushy/slushy is what you’re aiming for.
Once the mixture is mushy/slushy, use an electric hand mixer on medium speed to beat the mixture until fluffy and light in color. Just a few minutes.
Refreeze the mixture until hard (about 8 hours or overnight is better). Use an ice cream scoop to scoop sherbet into cups for serving.
Here is another recipe from Yovanna Bieberich:
“I’m a bit crazy for anything pumpkin. My parents’ nickname for me is ‘Pumpkin.’ My favorite childhood picture is of a 4-year-old me with my Dad in a pumpkin patch. I’ve been eating pumpkin in any way, shape or form for as long as I can remember … long before pumpkin spice was a thing. There’s canned pumpkin in my cupboard all year round. You get the picture.
“Thanksgiving is a big excuse for me to be more public with my pumpkin recipes (addiction). This particular one fills a need for a pumpkin dessert to please the gluten-free and dairy-free family members at my Thanksgiving table.”
Tip: “I make these pumpkin bars in an 8-inch square pan, but you could also make it more pie-looking by baking it in a 9-inch, springform pan.”
Gluten-Free/ Dairy-Free Pumpkin Bars
11/2 cups superfine almond flour (Not almond meal. Yovanna uses Bob’s Red Mill superfine almond flour.)
3 teaspoons ground pumpkin spice
2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil or veggie oil)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (use the real stuff, please)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground pumpkin spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and grease the pan with some olive oil or cooking spray. Tip: Let the parchment paper length come up to the top of the pan to help with releasing the bars from the pan later.
In a bowl, mix together ingredients for the crust until they come together. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the greased pan as evenly as possible. Use your fingers or a spoon to really smooth it out. It will take some work.
Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven. No need to let it cool completely.
For the filling: Mix the sugar and pumpkin puree in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs, mixing well. Then add the rest of the filling ingredients, mixing well.
Pour the pumpkin mixture onto the crust. Place it back in the oven to bake (still at 350 degrees) for ?25-28 minutes. The mixture should be set, not jiggly. A toothpick inserted into it should come out clean.
Let the bars cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, slice into bars and top with whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup or some honey-roasted almonds.
You can reach Staff Writer Diane Peterson at 707-521-5287 or [email protected] On Twitter @dianepete56.
Features, The Press Democrat
I’m interested in the home kitchen, from sheet-pan suppers to the latest food trends. Food encompasses the world, its many cultures, languages and history. It is both essential and sensual. I also have my fingers on the pulse of classical music in Sonoma County, from student mariachi bands to jazz crossover and symphonic sounds. It’s all a rich gumbo, redolent of the many cultures that make up our country and the world.
Side Dishes You Can Bring to Friendsgiving
Friendsgiving isn’t about winning cooking awards, it’s about friends. However, if you did want to win Friendsgiving this year, we think one of these side dish and dessert recipes will do the trick. Our collection covers all the must-haves, from cheesy potatoes all the way to the sweet stuff.
Tasty scalloped potatoes with spicy ranch and crispy bacon.
Topped with sweet molasses butter and garnished with green onions, this cornbread pudding has handfuls of whole kernel corn and a bit of spice, too.
Simple ingredients and a little seasoning go a long way. Roast until crispy and tender.
Packed with real pumpkin and tangy cream cheese, these cheesecakes have a surprise for you—a buttery walnut crust.
Now’s the time to get your pumpkin fix. Try this fragrant and fluffy cake with buttercream frosting.
A new way to bake a sweet potato—bake it into a muffin. This one has a streusel topping made of chopped pecans and brown sugar.
Friendsgiving Dessert recipes
The more dessert options the better I always say. Here are some of our standard holiday dessert recipes for Thanksgiving dinner.
Easy No Bake Thanksgiving Trifle
Luscious layers of pumpkin cream, pumpkin cake, and ginger snaps make this fall dessert a showstopper. Both in presentation and taste.
Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe
This southern deep dish chocolate chess pie is perfect for dinner party or holiday dessert. It's easy to make using milk, cocoa powder, and a touch of instant coffee for a rich, indulgent dessert.
Easy Pumpkin Pie
I've been making this easy pumpkin pie recipe for 20 years. It's so good there's no reason to change it up!
Luscious 4-Layer Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Cream Recipe
Add a cake next to all the pies. This layer cake looks impressive and tastes delectable!
Pecan Pie Trifle Recipe
Add another twist on tradition with this pecan pie trifle. Store bought pie meets sweetened cream filling and it's a marriage made in heaven.
Delicious Chess Pie Recipe
This is another classic family favorite. Made with sugar and butter and pastry, how can you go wrong?
Rustic Apple Galette with Caramel Drizzle Recipe
Add this apple galette to the table for a different flavor profile. The galette is a fun rustic twist on pie.
Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake Recipe
It doesn't get much easier than this pumpkin dump cake. The flavors are traditionally Thanksgiving but the presentation is rustic and another great alternative. to pie.
Since Thanksgiving travel is the busiest time of year, there will be a ton of travelers vying for those luggage bins at security or for that window seat you wanted. If you’d like stress-free travel, Thanksgiving time is probably not for you.
Technically, you can host a Friendsgiving any time of year. I’d actually recommend it. You can elevate your dinner party game by having themed dinners (like Dr. Who) and dinners centered around other holidays (like St. Patrick’s Day).
Check out this link for more about how to host a fun dinner party.
In any case, Happy Thanksgiving—and Friendsgiving—from those of us at Simplemost.