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Our Thanksgiving & Friendsgiving Menu

Our Thanksgiving / Friendsgiving menu with tips for a simpler hosting experience!

This year, we are hosting Thanksgiving. Tommy’s parents are going to visit his younger brother in Los Angeles, and we have some friends who will also be in Winston-Salem without family so we’ll be getting together for Friendsgiving…on Thanksgiving!

What is Friendsgiving? When is Friendsgiving?

I didn’t realize that Friendsgiving Day was more than just a blended name for Thanksgiving with friends, but google told me that Friendsgiving 2018 is actually November 21-26. So there ya go. It’s an official holiday.


What do you serve at Friendsgiving?

Well, in our case, we’re serving a more traditional Thanksgiving meal since it’s, ya know, our Friendsgiving is going to be on Thanksgiving. But, I think the beauty of it is that there are no Friendsgiving Rules. Serve what you love and feels special – and isn’t that what all Thanksgiving menus should really be about? I like to balance tradition with my very favorite Thanksgiving dishes (err, I mean Friendsgiving dishes).  One perk of hosting is getting to make as many recipes as I want without worrying about transporting them.

My Friendsgiving / Thanksgiving Plan!

Outsourcing the turkey

Call your local rotisserie restaurant to see if they make turkeys. My running friend Kelly told me that BLL Rotisserie makes the most AMAZING turkeys. I love that place so I have FULL confidence it will be amazing (and I trust Kelly!). I have a feeling it will be worth every penny so I can focus on the sides and dessert.

  • If you’re local, here are the details. Be sure to call BLL and get on their list!!
    • Turkeys are 14-16 lbs
    • Cost: $69
    • You must pick your turkey up the day before Thanksgiving before 8:30 am! (They’ll be there all night cooking them and said they’ll be ready to pick up starting at 3am, ha!)


Charcuterie boards are always a crowd pleaser since there is something for everyone. Plus, everything for a charcuterie board can be purchased far in advance, which simplifies things (and I usually have half of what I need on hand anyway). I’ll probably ask Alise to bring this since she’s a charcuterie board master! Get my tips to build a charcuterie board +an ingredient list here!

  • Pumpkin Gingerbread – I’m making this mostly so I can eat it the morning of Thanksgiving withe my coffee! And hey, if anyone wants some, perfect.

Side Dishes:


  • Pumpkin Pie (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen recipe + Trader Joe’s gluten-free pie crust)
  • TBD – I texted my friend Anna who is an INCREDIBLE cook to find out what she is making and then I’m just going to copy it, ha! I’ll update this once I hear back! 🙂
  • Tommy has also requested cobbler. Thanksgiving Cobbler is a thing, right?


  • Old Fashioned – I LOVE whiskey and bourbon and usually drink it neat (when I drink liquor at all, which is pretty rare). But, I thought it would be a fun to attempt a cocktail at home. I’m eyeing this Maple Bourbon Smash, this Raspberry Winter Bourbon Smash or this Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour.
  • Pinot Noir – this lighter bodied red wine pairs wells with turkey
  • Almond Milk Bailey’s + Decaf coffee (for dessert!)
  • We have a friend who is pregnant so I also plan to have plenty of La Croix and anything else she requests!

Thanksgiving China

The short version – I’m borrowing china.

The long version: We still don’t have a full set of everyday plates (well, we have 4 place settings), let alone china. We’ve bid on some antique china at auction a few month ago but got outbid on by $50, and I didn’t want to rush buying china or an entire set of dishes since that stuff is expenses!

My friend Kelly (the same friend who let me in on the BLL Rotisserie turkey secret) isn’t hosting Thanksgiving and like a SERIOUS GEM, offered up her family china for us to borrow. It’s absolutely beautiful. She told me, “Some things in life just need to be shared. China should be a community item rather than everyone buying their own. ” I LOVED that perspective. And I loved that she solved a problem that was stressing me out! 🙂

I’m so excited to get in the kitchen with dear friends!

Want more ideas for Friendsgiving dishes? Go here!

If you need some casual Thanksgiving outfit ideas, see some here!

Here’s what we did last year, our first married Thanksgiving! 🙂

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  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run

    I think I need to make a loaf of that pumpkin gingerbread for Thanksgiving morning, too. Yummm!

  • Brenda

    How about mashed cauliflower for a little less carb? YOu can use cream cheese for the fat/creaminess factor.

  • Christy

    Sounds delicious! And I hope you’re using Ashly’s cornbread recipe (which actually was my recipe) cause it is delicious!!!! ???. We’ll miss having you here but hope you have a great feast!