Friendsgiving Recipes

‘Tis the season for Thanksgiving potlucks! There is something special about gathering with your closest friends to enjoy a plate full of homemade dishes.  I have a couple different Friendsgiving and work potlucks coming up in the next couple of weeks and I am in full on research mode, gathering up recipes and choosing which dishes to bring. I figured many of you might be in the same boat so I wanted to share some of my trusty potluck standbys and some new recipes I am considering!

Thanksgiving Potluck Friendsgiving Recipe Plate

Appetizers:

Brie and Jam Bites – these little sweet and savory morsels are so easy and delicious, they are my go to appetizer for any event or potluck. These require minimum prep thanks to using the pre-made phyllo shells and I usually use this version from She Wears Many Hats with brie and apricot jam, but you can switch it up by using goat cheese and fig jam or cream cheese and pepper jelly.

Turkey Meatballs – If your friends are anything like my friends, your Friendsgiving may be missing the main event, the turkey. Cleaning, stuffing, basting, hours in the oven – ain’t nobody got time for that. These meatballs are just the trick to get a taste of turkey without spending hours in the kitchen – just swap out the marinara sauce for gravy!

No time to cook? Pick up one of these apps: Meatballs or Arancini from DiPasquale’s, Hummus and Pita from Samos Greek Island Grill

Sides:

Sweet Potatoes – my family’s Thanksgiving dinner includes not one, but two sweet potato dishes. My Aunt Diane makes a sweet potato souffle with marshmallows on top that is fairly similar to this Traditional Southern Sweet Potato Casserole. When I make the recipe I typically cut the amount of sugar and spices in half because sweet potatoes have such an amazing flavor on their own, but of course the traditional southern version must have ALL the sugar and butter 🙂 Diane also makes a candied sweet potato dish that looks similar to this candied yams recipe.

Macaroni and Cheese – Oh Pioneer Woman you do no wrong – especially with this ooey gooey mac and cheese. And for good measure here’s another recipe I’ve been scoping out with panko bread crumbs on top from the Mac and Cheese Chick.

Squash Casserole – my Mimi’s secret recipe is the best, but this Paula Deen version won’t steer you wrong either.

Brussels Sprouts – If you’re looking for a little veggies in your Friendsgiving feast look no further than this super easy recipe from Ina Garten. The most time consuming part is chopping the sprouts, but worth it for the finished product.

No time to cook? Pick up one of these sides: Mac and Cheese from Mission BBQ, Whipped Sweet Potatoes from Dinosaur BBQ (new to Harbor East), Brussels Sprouts from Whole Foods

Desserts:

Pumpkin Cookies – these crazy easy pumpkin spice cookies from PB Fingers (with cream cheese frosting!!) are delicious – just make sure you cook them for long enough. One year I took them out a little early thinking they would continue cooking on the pan and ended up bringing lumpy, under cooked pumpkin cookies to Friendsgiving. #fail

Chocolate and Strawberry Trifle – This isn’t particularly Thanksgiving-y but it is one of my absolute favorite desserts to make for a group. It tastes even better if you make it the night before and allow all the flavors to ooze together.

No time to cook? Pick up one of these desserts: Pumpkin Pie form Dangerously Delicious Pies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Patisserie Poupon

Strawberry Chocolate Trifle Potluck Dessert

Are you going to a Friendsgiving potluck? What are you bringing? 

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The FIRST Post

Going on day 6 with no air conditioning. Life is great in Baltimore. And by great I mean humid and sweaty. Since our A/C is broken and the Mid-Atlantic weather has been unseasonably warm, we tried to spend as much time out of the house this weekend as possible. Friday night I squeezed in a quick post-work gym trip before joining Jeanette, her mom who was visiting and her boyfriend, K, for a casual dinner at Mother’s.

Saturday morning, Adam and I were up early to head down to DC for Race for the Cure. It’s a tradition that we do with my mom since she is a breast cancer survivor and this was my 7th race! We usually walk the 5k course, but this year my mom had a foot injury and is in a walking boot so we just joined the crowd on the mall for the post-race festivities. I love the high-energy, celebratory feel of the event and it’s always amazing to see so many survivors (designated by their hot pink shirts) and groups walking in memory of those they have lost. Afterward, we headed to Poste for brunch and I had a tasty cheese omelet. I think calling it a cheese omelet was misleading though as it was heavy on the spinach and mushrooms and light on the cheese.

Mom and me at Race for the Cure DC

Mom and me at Race for the Cure DC

Saturday afternoon we returned to our hot, hot apartment to do some cooking for Sunday’s Mother’s Day get together. Adam’s brother and sister-in-law were hosting a lunch and I made a pasta salad and some funfetti cake batter blondies. I used this recipe for whole wheat pasta salad and it was a big hit! It was really easy to make and full of tasty roast vegetables: asparagus, mushrooms and red pepper. The cake batter blondies were also out of this world and crazy simple. You just combine vanilla cake mix with vegetable oil, one egg, milk, sprinkles and white chocolate chips. It is those white chocolate chips that really take these bars to the next level.

Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies

Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies

Sunday morning we picked up my mom and went to Potomac for the Mother’s day gathering. In addition to the dishes I brought, we munched on quiche, salade niçoise, chicken wings and plenty of cheese and crackers. After we spent some quality time with our moms, Adam and I took the metro into DC for the Caps game. It was game six in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Caps had the chance to win and advance in front of a home crowd. Unfortunately, the game got off to a rough start and the Rangers scored about forty seconds into the game. The Caps ultimately lost 4-3. Even though the game didn’t go our way, we still had a good time. I do some work with the NHL for my job so I was given the tickets and before the game we met up with friends at Rosa Mexicano for skinny margaritas and chips and guac. Free tix + mexican food = a winning combination! Quick side note – as much as I love Rosa (it’s right around the corner from my old office and we ordered many a lunch and spent many a happy hour there) the fact that they charge $14 for guac is outrageous!

Adam and me at the Caps game

Adam and me at the Caps game

So that ended up being a very DC weekend for the first post on a Baltimore blog, but doesn’t it just illustrate how great Baltimore’s location is? Easy breezy to spend the day in DC or Philly!