Happy Friends-Giving!

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

It’s that time of year again… PUMPKIN TIME! Whether you get your fix from your favourite pumpkin spice latte, carving a jack-o-lantern, or simply admiring some decorative gourds, we can all agree that Thanksgiving dinner is a staple! If you are staying on campus and looking for a way to get festive, look no further. Today I have that good-good Friends-Giving menu ready for any student kitchen. 

I have assembled the most classic of classic Thanksgiving dinners. These recipes are super easy versions of Thanksgiving staples that will make you and your friends feel all gooey and warm inside. One last thing… you should be watching all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes as your prep your Friends-Giving feast.

The Grocery List:

  • 10-12 pound turkey 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brussel sprouts 
  • Spinach 
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Goat cheese 
  • Butter or butter alternative 
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Mini marshmallows 
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Cinnamon
  • Cornbread 
  • Cranberry sauce 
  • Optional:
    • Parmesan 
    • Stuffing mix (follow box instructions)
    • Vanilla ice cream

The Turkey

As you may or may not know, I don’t dabble in the meat department. So if you are looking to have that staple roasted turkey, I found a no-frills, simple recipe for you! You can find it here — just give yourself a good three hours for it to roast in the oven. 

Sweet Potato Pie 

  • 6 large sweet potatoes 
  • 1/4 cup butter or butter alternative 
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows 

Preheat your oven to 400 °F. Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork, place them on a baking sheet in the oven, and leave them to cook for about 40 minutes. Once done, remove the center from the skin and mash it with butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Place the mash in a baking dish and top it with marshmallows. Then… place the dish in the oven, watch carefully, and cook it until the marshmallows have browned. And wa-la! 

Spinach Salad 

  • 1 bunch of spinach 
  • ¼ cup goat cheese 
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 lemon

This recipe is very simple. Place all your spinach in a large serving bowl. Add the olive oil to a saute pan on medium heat. Add garlic, then cook it for about two minutes until it has browned. Let the oil cool and pour it over the spinach. Squeeze the juice of one whole lemon, and toss. Once the spinach has had 10 minutes to marinate, add the goat cheese, toss again and serve.

Brussel Sprouts   

  • 3 cups of halved brussel sprouts 
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Optional: Parmesan 

Heat a saute pan on medium-high heat, and add the olive oil and garlic. Once the garlic has had browns, add Brussels sprouts and stir them around in the olive oil until they are evenly coated. Note: if you have a smaller pan do this in small batches to ensure that all the Brussels sprouts are touching the bottom of the pan.

Cook the Brussels sprouts and stir sporadically until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside (about 20 minutes). When they have about 5 minutes left, add the balsamic vinegar and mix it. Top with parmesan and serve! 

Baked Apples à la Mode

  • 4 honeycrisp apples
  • 4 tbsp cold butter 
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar 
  • ½ tsp cinnamon 
  • Vanilla ice cream

This one is super easy and incredibly delicious. Wash and core the apples, then place them in a baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients until they have become pebble-sized buttery chunks. Fill each core with the mixture and bake at 375 °F for one hour. A great idea is to throw them in while you eat dinner so that they are warm when it’s time to eat. Then, top them with vanilla ice cream! 

If you are feeling extra, here are some other recipes that I love! 

Stuffing • Corn Bread  • Mac N’ Cheese • Freekeh Salad  • Apple Cranberry Crisp • Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

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