Friendsgiving is such a fun new tradition. I love it’s laid back, casual vibe. All the pressure and stress of hosting a perfect Thanksgiving dinner, is not associated with this simpler get together. This year I’m keeping it as simple as possible, so that I really can just can enjoy a few hours with friends.
I usually like to over think and complicate menus, but this year it’s as easy as can be. I’m serving a hearty Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup, yummy Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins, and Apples Fosters and buttery Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread for dessert. I’m serving double dessert because I have friends who’s diet’s require them to eat gluten free. So, Chef Sam Talbot’s Apples Foster recipe is perfect. Oh, and one more thing, who doesn’t love a pretty cheese and charcuterie board? I almost always put one out before a meal when I have company. It’s a guaranteed way to keep guests happy while you finish up the final touches of a meal. I tried to take all my favorite Thanksgiving flavors and pack them into this easy to-make menu.
I gave my table a little Thanksgiving, Fall Harvest touch with some really pretty pieces from Pier 1 Imports. I love adding a couple items to what I already own to freshen up the look for the season. And the star of the table setting is definitely these adorable pumpkin tureens. Soup just got so much better when you can eat it out of covered pumpkin shaped dishes. You are going to want to visit your local Pier 1 or just hop their website before Thanksgiving is here.
Here’s some of the pretty things I used to bring a little harvest cheer to my table:
I lined the inside of this pretty utensil holder with plastic zipper bags and florist oasis, then I filled it with a wild arrangement of flowers, leaves and wheat. I think it makes a really pretty center piece.
These gorgeous etched glass hurricanes will probably stay out all year long. And these tall smoke colored glasses really are quite elegant.
- Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup
- Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins
- A Pretty Charcuterie Board
- Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
- Apples Foster
- Sparkling Apple Ginger Mocktail
Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Wild Rice Soup
- 2 lb. (or about 4 cups) butternut squash (peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces)
- 3 tbsp. each fresh sage, rosemary and thyme finely chopped (divided)
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 4 tbsp. olive oil (divided
- salt + pepper
- 3 lb. Turkey breast
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup wild rice
- 4 cups water
- 2 quarts turkey stock
- 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz. cans)
Start by roasting the butternut squash and turkey breast. Toss the butternut squash with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Place them on a baking sheet. Place the turkey breast in the center butternut squash. Rub the 2 tbsp. of butter on the outside of the turkey breast. Season everything well with salt + pepper and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. each finely chopped fresh sage, rosemary and thyme. Place in a 375 F oven for 1 hour.
While the turkey is roasting, you will want to cook the wild rice. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the wild rice and water and bring to a boil. Once the rice comes to a full rolling boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for about 1 hour, or until the liquid is gone and the rice is tender.
At 1 hour of roasting, remove the butternut squash. The turkey may need to roast a little longer, depending on how big it is. Turkey is done when a meat thermometer reads 165 F. Allow the turkey to rest at least 10 minutes before shredding it with two forks. Remove all the meat from the bones and discard any skin.
Now that the rice is done, add the turkey stock, fire roasted tomatoes, butternut squash, turkey and remained 2 tbsp. each finely chopped fresh sage, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 mins on medium heat. Season well with salt and pepper. This makes a lot of soup, so you can be generous with the salt, there is nothing worse then flat, bland soup, don’t you agree?
Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Muffins
You will need 2 packages Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix or 1 package Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix. Follow the directions on the box but instead of using milk, substitute canned pumpkin instead. Also, add 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice and 1/4 cup roasted pepitas. If the batter seams dry, feel free to add up to 1/4 more pumpkin puree. Mix well and place in paper liners in a muffin tin. Sprinkle with a few more pepitas and bake according to the directions on the box.
Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup butter (room temperature)
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- a pinch of salt
I made this recipe with my food processor, but if you don’t have one, don’t fret (see the instructions in the next paragraph). Start by chopping the rosemary and cranberries first. Then remove them from the food processor and add the butter and sugar and mix until smooth. Then add the flour and salt and pulse until the dough comes together. Finally, add the rosemary and cranberries back in and pulse until the dough is mixed completely.
And if you don’t have a food processor, follow these instructions. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on high for a minute. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the flour and salt and beat again until smooth. Add the rosemary and cranberries a mix until it is incorporated evenly.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness on a well floured surface. Cut out 1 inch by 3 inch rectangles. Prick the tops of the cookies with a fork. Place the cookies on parchment lined baking sheet. Place the cookies in the freezer for at least 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 350 F, bake the cookies until just golden brown on the edges, about 12 mins.
Apples Foster With Coconut and Whiskey Caramel
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons whiskey
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 firm apples, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick rings or wedges (about 2 cups)
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium. Whisk in the sugar. Remove the skillet from the heat, and add the whiskey. Carefully ignite the fumes just above the mixture with a long match or long multi-purpose lighter. Let the flames die down. Return the skillet to the heat, and add the coconut milk, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to have the viscosity of caramel, about 4 minutes. Add the apples, and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (You’ll know the sauce is done when it easily coats the back of a spoon.) Pour this over warm biscuits or some dairy-free ice cream or gelato.
Excerpted from 100% Real by Sam Talbot. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Not only are these pumpkin tureens adorable, but they actually keep your soup piping hot. I paired them with my everyday dishes, and they look great! That’s the beauty of white pumpkins, they go with everything.
I hope you feel inspired to host a friendsgiving this year. It doesn’t have to be decadent and over the top, keep is simple with soup and bread and I guarantee your friends will approve.
This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.