Hosting a Stress-Free Friendsgiving!Hosting a Friendsgiving? Check out these tips for hosting a stress-free Friendsgiving!
Every year my friends and I plan on having Friendsgiving a week after actual Thanksgiving. It is always so exciting to get together with all of my friends that I don't get to see often. Even though we all live around Chicago, we all have conflicting schedules so it is near impossible to get everyone around the dinner table at the same time. This year is my year to host Friendsgiving. Let's go through the steps I take to ensure my Friendsgiving goes off without any hiccups! (like that one year the Turkey still wasn't ready in time for dinner....)
• Research your favorite recipes!
- How are you cooking your Turkey? Roasted or Deep-Fried? Are you making a brine? Grilling? Smoking?
- Are you making stuffing from scratch? Or buying boxed Stove Top Stuffing? (like me!)
Whatever the case may be, whip out your Pinterest and start researching every bit of your Thanksgiving meal. How long will each dish take to make and prepare? Will the Turkey be in the oven when something else needs to be cooked? You have to take all things into consideration, so you do not have a rare or burnt bird at the dinner table. I would even suggest jotting down a timeline of your day to perfectly plan out your Friendsgiving.
• Plan your courses
Depending on what time you plan your Friendsgiving dinner, you may need to wake up early to start the cooking!
- Are you cooking the entire meal and desserts? Or are others bringing side-dishes as well? I have my friends bring whatever they like, I usually tell them to just bring the desserts.
My Friendsgiving dinner consists of the following:
- Grilled turkey (3 hours)
- Stuffing (8 min.)
- mashed potatoes & gravy (30 min)
- corn (toss on the grill 20min)
- green beans (boil 10min + toss with garlic butter)
- Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits (35min)
- Cranberry Cocktail (10 min See my recipe post: facebook.com/PinotsPaletteElmhurst/photos/a.461534784186064/951143385225199)
- Pierogi (15min from frozen)
If your friends do bring food make sure to make note of what everyone is bringing so there are no double-dishes at the table!
• Prep your food
If I am hosting Friendsgiving or if I am helping out for Thanksgiving at my parents, you can always expect me to be cooking the Turkey outside on the grill. It may take a bit more work but it is worth it in the end! It also frees up space in the kitchen while prepping other dishes. The general rule for cooking a turkey is 20 minutes per pound, so plan accordingly! I usually buy a tiny 10-12lb turkey and cook the bird to an internal temperature of 165F. A turkey that small takes up to 3 hours depending on how hot your grill or oven is.
As soon as you get the Turkey going, start on your side dishes. I make my buttermilk biscuits last so they are still fresh and hot out of the oven for everyone.
• Set the table
Before everyone shows up, set the table up! Depending on how fancy you are feeling, take out the nice china you never use and set that up. My friends and I like to get pretty rowdy before dinner drinking and watching football, and nobody is super fancy, so I buy the NICEST paper plates I can find and go with that. It saves time cleaning the table at the end of the night!
• Prep the house
Pick up all the unnecessary junk laying around (like the socks you took off and just threw on the side of the couch) I know I do not have to impress my friends, but having a nice and tidy, up-kept house feels good when you have all your loved ones over. Set up some fall-themed décor if you haven’t already. Knowing that your house is in order is just extra peace-of-mind for your night.
• Eat and Enjoy the company of your Friends
Everybody is now stuffed from dinner, the dessert table has been taken over, and now it’s time to relax and let the food digest. Since my friends are all busy around Christmas, we plan our Friendsgiving a week into December and trade gifts. So after our stomachs have all settled we trade our gifts, finish our drinks, and chat the night away!