One of our friends in NYC introduced us to friendsgiving, and we fell in love with the idea and decided to make it a thing each year at our house. This year was a bit different in that we are now a family of 4 and we recently moved back to Atlanta. Thanksgiving is normally a family gathering for us, so this is a great opportunity to give thanks for our friends and our community. It's a time for us to start our own tradition. We are surrounded by a great community of people, and we love showing them how much we appreciate them.
This is a formal informal event. Formal in that I send out evites, set the table, use real plates. Informal that all we ask is you come and enjoy yourself, eat as much as you like, and laugh as much as possible.
On this year's menu macaroni and cheese, vegetarian meatballs, greens, sweet potatoes, rolls, chocolate cake, and banana pudding. Mainly our tried and true favorites for a southern holiday meal. I've shared these recipes before on my Christmas Dinner blog. But this year because my mom has been having some problems with cheese, I decided to try out a vegan mac and cheez. It's a delicious substitute but it can't replace the original. But try it, you'll thank me.
Mac and Cheez
1 box of pasta
1 medium butternut squash
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of yeast flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup of salted pasta water
3 tablespoons of vegan butter
3 tablespoons of flour (all-purpose)
1/2 cup of almond milk
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut squash in half and bake 40 minutes, or until soft, at 425 degrees. Start water for boiling pasta, salt water. Wait for butternut squash to cool down and scoop out and place in blender. Blend squash until smooth then add yeast flakes, onion powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, seasoned salt, and dry mustard. Next step, the roux! Melt butter and whisk in flour until it's smooth. Slowly add water and milk, whisk until fully incorporated, add pinch of nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of yeast flakes. Add roux into blender...and blend until smooth. Pour cheez over noddles...and EAT!
This year I also put more effort into creating a spot for the kids. Complete with homemade play dough, stickers, crayons, mini bubbles, stamps, a tablecloth for coloring, and DIY apple pops. The adult table was more traditional, but very simple. Tablecloth is from Walmart $1.50, glasses are from Target, 2 in a pack for $1.50 (end of season sale, 70% off). Chargers are from Pier 1 Imports, they go with almost every occasion. White cloth napkins, would have loved to have some colored ones (orange or red), but couldn't find any in time.
2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of salt
4 teaspoons of cream of tarter
2 tablespoon of oil
2 cup of water
Food coloring of choice (2 squirts or 12 drops)
Add dry ingredients then mix in liquid (mix food coloring in water) in saucepan. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything together over medium heat until everything comes together and forms a ball.
1 package of candy melts (or package of chocolates)
1 teaspoon coconut oil (or butter)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups of water
Add ons (sprinkles, coconut, nuts)
I used granny smith because the tartness and the sweetness go well together. Cut apples into wedges and remove seeds. Place wedges on candy sticks. Mix lemon and water, dip wedges in lemon water to keep from browning. Place on tray on fridge until ready to serve. Melt candy or chocolate add coconut oil, using double broiler or in microwave. Drip wedges in melted candy or chocolate, sprinkle with add-ons.
We had a great time! Wishing you and yours a Happy Friendsgiving!