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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Doing it All in Fall

October Fall Leaves Maryland

Rabbit Rabbit – happy October! In the blink of an eye September has come and gone and it is time to fully embrace fall! The weekend might be a wash (literally) with Joaquin on the horizon, but hopefully the rest of the month is crisp and clear. Last week I mentioned some of my favorite fall activities and I wanted to expand on that today with some specific opportunities in Baltimore. A few years ago (ahem, 2011), my coworkers and I printed out this Fall Bucket List and tried to complete as many of the falltivities as we could. We didn’t make it very far, but we had fun trying! Here’s some help in checking a few boxes off the list…

fall bucket list

Apple Picking – Head to Larriland Farm (but check their website first to see what’s available for harvest each day!). September is usually prime apple picking season, but Larriland has some varieties that ripen later in the fall. Like most of the places listed below, Larriland has hay rides and a pumpkin patch too!

Hay Ride – Hay Rides are available at Larriland Farm, or if you’re looking for an option closer to the city check out Rodger’s Farm. They have a hay ride, corn maze, pumpkin patch and farm animals and are located right in Greenspring Valley.

Corn Maze – Nothing will compete with the Taylor Swift Corn Maze at Summers Farm. Don’t bother going anywhere else 🙂

Pumpkin Patch – Visit Gaver Farm on the weekend and take a free hayride to a pick your own pumpkin patch. Or drive a little further out 70 to Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch which also has a petting zoo.

Dates – May we suggest the Blue Moon Cafe that recently opened a location in Federal Hill because nothing says fall like Captain Crunch French Toast. Or go for dinner at the always delicious Woodberry Kitchen which has a delicious seasonal menu. Speaking of fall foods, we went to Wine Market for my birthday last week and my filet came with the most amazing butternut squash bread pudding. Let me repeat that, butternut squash bread pudding. It was so freaking good I can’t even describe it.

Pies – Sure you could bake a pie, or you could stop by Dangerously Delicious Pies in Canton and grab a slice for your self. Pecan, sweet potato, apple, pumpkin – oh my!

Fancy Coffee Drinks – Head to Artifact Coffee in Hampden, Spoons  or the just opened 3 Bean Coffee in Federal Hill, or the Daily Grind in Fells Point. Or just go to Starbucks for a PSL and call it a day.

pgkin spice

Which of these bucket list activities do you plan on doing this fall? 

October 3

Friday Five (Favorite Falltivities)

It’s that time of the year! Leaves are changing color, temperatures are cooler and anything and everything is flavored with pumpkin. Let’s cut to the chase and get to my favorite activities for autumn:

Celebrate my birthday! I turn 28 today and will be celebrating all weekend long. I’m a bit biased but I think late September is the BEST time of the year. We’ll be celebrating tonight with a nice dinner and celebrating more tomorrow at a winery.

fall football ravens

Watch Football. Cheering on the Terps and Gamecocks on Saturdays and the Ravens on Sundays. Setting my fantasy lineup and trash talking my opponents. Making snacks for game day like zucchini pizza bites. Tailgating. Homecoming. Wine bras and grilling in the parking lot. In our house, fall means football and football means fall.

tailgating

Visit the Maryland Renaissance Festival. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but it deserves another mention. Held in Crownsville (outside Annapolis) every weekend from now until October 25, tickets are $19 for the first couple of weekends and $24 a person after that. Take in the sights and sounds of a medieval village while enjoying a fall beer (or hot spiced mead!) and a sweet potato pie. Or a turkey leg. Or cheesecake on a stick. Plus, there’s jousting which oddly enough is the state sport of Maryland.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Eat apple cider donuts. From the Apple House in Linden, Virginia. My family used to drive out to the country every fall and stop at the Apple House for their amazingly flavorful donuts. These babies are served warm with a delightful coating of cinnamon and sugar.  Go there. Go there now.

Pick a pumpkin. Fall is not complete without a trip to a pumpkin patch and we may even have to visit Maryland’s Taylor Swift corn maze. Expect a roundup soon of all the great options in the area, but for now I leave you with these enormous pumpkins!

pumpkins

Linking up with Courtney, Mar and Cynthia for Friday Five and Heather for Friday Favorites. Check out the other fall faves out there on the interwebz!