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How to do Friendsgiving the right way

A popular trend during November is Friendsgiving, a play on the holiday Thanksgiving gathering where everyone contributes to a feast among companions rather than family before the annual holiday.

Offerings can consist of classic turkey day goodies like the traditional turkey or ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, and more tasty foods.

Bringing the classics to the table:

Here are some simple recipes and tips for traditional Thanksgiving items:

Turkey:

Cooking a turkey can be a tasty adventure, and here’s how to do it in a few simple stages. To begin, if your turkey is frozen, defrost it safely in the refrigerator for about 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. Preheat your oven to 325°F when it’s time to cook. Don’t forget to remove the giblets and neck from the turkey before putting it in the oven. Rinse your turkey, pat it dry, then season it with salt and pepper. If you prefer stuffing, you can stuff it with whatever you like. Then, place your seasoned turkey with its breast up on a rack in a roasting pan. Brush the skin with melted butter or oil to obtain crispy skin. To keep the turkey from browning too much, wrap it in aluminum foil. If your turkey isn’t stuffed, it’ll take about 15-20 minutes per pound to cook, or 20-25 minutes per pound if it is. Make sure to baste it every half hour while it’s roasting to keep it moist.

Check the temperature with a meat thermometer to see when it’s done. The temperature of the turkey should reach 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh and, if used, the stuffing. Allow the turkey to rest for about 30 minutes after cooking to keep it tender. Finally, slice or cut it into pieces and serve with your favorite sides.

Green Bean Casserole:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl, combine 2 cans of green beans, 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of evaporated milk (for a creamy texture), and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper, stir in 1 1/3 cups of crispy fried onions, transfer the mixture into a 1.5-quart casserole dish, bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the casserole is hot and bubbling. Top with the remaining crispy fried onions and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Stuffing:

For a basic stuffing recipe, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • Cubed bread (about 8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 to 2.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Set your oven’s temperature to 350°F to begin. Melt butter in a big skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, celery, and onions and sauté until they are soft. Add the salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and rosemary, along with any other flavors or spices. Add the pan and cook for a further two to three minutes. Spoon the cubed bread chunks into a large mixing bowl, then cover the bread with the sautéed mixture. Once the mixture is well combined and the desired moisture level is reached, stir it frequently and gradually add the broth. When it’s ready, transfer the mixture to a sheet pan. Place foil over the sheet tray and bake for approximately thirty minutes. After taking off the foil, bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

New items to bring to the table:

Sausage Pinwheels

These savory sausage pinwheels are an easy, must-have appetizer or side for a Thanksgiving feast. The ingredients needed are ground sausage, garlic powder, green onions, crescent roll dough and other seasonings if needed.

Start by cooking your ground sausage and removing the grease as much as you can, then set aside. In a bowl, soften the cream cheese and mix with chopped green onion. Lay out your sheet of dough and spread the cream cheese mixture across. Add on your ground sausage evenly across the sheet of dough. If you want it to be even spicier, add in red pepper flakes to amplify the flavor.

Take the sheet of covered dough and roll it up. Slice down along the roll to create pinwheel-like circles of dough, sausage, and cream cheese. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is crisp and golden brown.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Cranberries, and Walnuts

This unique meat-less side dish is sure to fill guests up and be full of flavor. Stuffed acorn squash will take your table to another level. Start by slicing the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. To make it sit level in a pan, slice the underside a little. Baste the squash halves with a maple oil mixture for a tasty flavor. The ingredients for the squash are 2 large acorn squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, agave or honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of cinnamon. Bake for around 35-45 minutes.

Let that bake as you make the quinoa filling. Prepare your quinoa. Heat oil in a large pan with medium high heat and add the shallots and sauté for a few minutes. Add the carrots and cook until it is soft, but still has a bite. Follow that by adding in the walnuts and cook for a few more minutes. Pour in maple syrup until the mixture is dry an carmelized. Turn off heat and add cooked quinoa, orange juice, zest, pomegranate seeds, parsley, and other spices. Toss that mixture until it is fully combined and season with salt and pepper for taste.

Take the squash out of the oven when ready and fill with the quinoa stuffing. Bake for about 15-20 more minutes until the acorn squash is soft and the filling is hot.

Sweet Potato Apple Soup

Fall calls for colorful leaves and cozy, warm vibes as the cold weather approaches. Cold weather=soup weather.

This bright sweet potato apple soup is an easy-make that will warm you up with a tone of sweet flavor. The ingredients needed are 5 cups of sweet potatoes, apples, shallots, spices (nutmeg and cinnamon are recommended), and vegetable broth. Prepare by chopping an apple and a shallot, along with peeing your five cups of sweet potatoes. Sauté your shallots in a soup pot with olive oil until they are translucent. Then, add in the sweet potatoes and apples and stir for about 3-4 minutes.

Add in just enough broth to cover the vegetables. By adding less broth, the more thick the soup will be which is the goal. Take your mixture from the pot and blend to make a smooth, orange texture. You may reheat in the pan with added spices. If you need it even sweeter, you may top with maple syrup to coincide with the sweet potatoes.