Everyone is eager to see the family for Thanksgiving, but a lot of us like to extend the festivities to our close friends—thus, Friendsgiving was born. Whether it’s before Thanksgiving or after, Friendsgiving is a chance to laugh with buddies who are back in town—and most importantly—show off your unique twist on grandma’s recipe. It’s a time to break out of the traditional recipe box and introduce new classics to the fall spread. With Spice Islands® superior spices on your side, these tips and tricks will give you the confidence to accept the challenge of hosting a Friendsgiving or bringing a plate with a guaranteed wow factor.
Here’s a roundup of menu ideas that beautifully bend the rules of traditional dishes, all featuring a unique flavor experience from Spice Islands® spices.
Cocktail Hour & Munchies:
Cocktail hour with a batch of mulled cider is a great way to kickoff Friendsgiving. Simply simmer the cider with our authentic warm spices, strain, then chill and spike with a bottle of really good bourbon. Ideally served straight up or over ice, plus a slice of orange and a few bobbing cranberries makes for a seasonally special garnish.
Also, bringing appetizers is priceless when it comes to attending a Friendsgiving. Wow the gracious host and guests with recipes that use our genuine fall flavors—like a harvest pumpkin dip, super simple chili popcorn or sweet and spicy mixed nuts.
Beyond the Bread Basket:
Parker House rolls seem to be the go-to when it comes to Thanksgiving bread, but savory and sweet make-ahead additions with our artisan spices like zucchini and corn or carrot raisin muffins will do wonders. Add a bowl of hand-crafted whipped vanilla honey butter, and you’ve got a lovely day-after Friendsgiving breakfast.
When it comes to Thanksgiving sauces, cranberries might be the name of the game. Yet, there’s always room on the Friendsgiving table for another turkey accompaniment. This enchanting tomato apple chutney is full of sweet, sour and spicy flavors like our bold Spice Islands® Cayenne Pepper, pickling spice and brown sugar, making it a welcomed partner for your bird.
Bird is the Word:
No one is going to argue with a beautifully brined, expertly cooked bird, but poultry seasoning is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tackling the turkey. Try adding Spice Islands® Garam Masala for a warm, spice market-inspired Indian flavor. If you’re looking for something more southern-inspired, our adventurous chipotle bourbon sauce packs a light, boozy punch.
Just like a roasted turkey, there are certain Thanksgiving staples that you just don’t mess with during Friendsgiving—pie is one of them. Instead of going to your classic apple, pecan, or pumpkin route, switch things up with new spins on the classics. Discover our perfectly-spiced cayenne pecan pie, personal apple pie jars, and plenty of salted caramel sauce for scooping.
Caroline Russock is the editor of Zagat Philadelphia. Past gigs include vetting thousands of recipes for Serious Eats, bartending in rural Sicily, and running a French bistro in San Diego.