Win at Friendsgiving: Your Go-To Guide For What to BringNovember 13, 2018 11:42 pm
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and there are few things that beat a table of good food surrounded by some of your closest friends for a pre-holiday celebration. As you get ready for Friendsgiving, check out this go-to guide to make this the best one yet.
There is no better way to start off Friendsgiving than with something warm, fried and a crowd favorite. The fried potstickers, a year round menu item from Bulgogi Box, are made of a chicken and pork blend sprinkled with mild Korean spices and served with spicy aioli. These potstickers make for a great finger-food appetizer to pass around while waiting for everyone to arrive.
Pro tip: If someone in the group is a vegetarian, pick up the B.B. Frites; these russet potato fries are seasoned with Korean spice blend and served with aioli sauce.
Leroy Fox has two go-to appetizers for Friendsgiving: zucchini fries and pimento cheese dip. The zucchini fries are served with Leroy Fox’s crowd-favorite “boom boom sauce” and ranch. The pimento cheese dip is a classic, Southern, homemade recipe with a secret ingredient that gives the dish an extra boost of flavor.
Pro tip: Pick up multiple of these tasty appetizers as your guests will be coming back for seconds (or thirds).
After everyone has arrived, you are ready for the first course of Friendsgiving and Tupelo Honey has two options that are sure to be hits. The Appalachian Spinach Salad is full of flavor with sweet potato puree, fresh blueberries, goat cheese, spiced pecans and maple vinaigrette.
Pro tip: If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person but still want the southern flavors of Tupelo Honey, check out the recipe for a homemade Salted Roasted Beets with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing here.
Pick up the Roasted Beet salad from Leroy Fox for a tasty combination of house-marinated chopped beets, beet croutons, mixed greens, sliced avocado, goat cheese, pickled red onion and balsamic vinaigrette.
Pro tip: Leroy Fox can turn either of these salads into a wrap and cut into smaller bites to serve as an appetizer instead.
Main Course – Meat
It’s time to get to the main course: turkey. If you prefer not to spend hours cooking one yourself, order a Smoked Turkey from Mac’s Speed Shop. These tasty turkeys come in two different sizes: a 12-14 pounder that will feed 8-10 people or a 22-24 pounder that will feed 14-16 people. The smaller option comes with 1 pint of gravy and the larger comes with 2 pints.
Pro tip: Don’t like your turkey hot? No worries, when you place your order at Mac’s, you have the option of picking up a cold turkey.
If you want to mix it up and have a main dish that’s not your typical turkey, Tupelo Honey has the perfect alternative. Chef Eric Gabrynowicz brings made-from-scratch and responsibly-sourced ingredients to the table with his Buttermilk Fried Chicken Family Meal. This meal comes with four servings of buttermilk fried chicken and creamy milk gravy, three family-sized sides and four biscuits with blueberry jam.
DIY by snagging a turkey from your local grocer and heading to Savory Spice Shop to pick up everything you need to cook your turkey to perfection. Savory Spice’s Turkey Brining Kit comes with step-by-step instructions, two brining/roasting bags and the complete pre-made mix to keep your turkey tender and juicy. The Golden Maple Dry Glaze, a special topping available only through December, is the perfect glaze for your turkey, vegetables or chicken. Want a one-stop shop for your DIY Friendsgiving feast? Pick up pre-packaged recipe-to-go packets that have all spices measured for your cooking needs. Try the Red Rocks Mac & Cheese, Savory Spice Corn Bread, Capitol Hill Classic Cole Slaw or the Sage & Savory Sweet Potato Bisque packages to look like you’ve been working on these recipes for years.
Pro tip: If you’re trying to avoid the parking craze of the holidays, Savory Spice Shop has a curb-side pick-up option when you order by phone. Or you can order it shipped from the store if you prefer home delivery.
Main Course – Sides
Side dishes help complete a great meal and it’s no wonder that Mac’s mac & cheese and Friendsgiving go so well together: they’re both warm, comforting and filled with more than their share of cheesy moments. Don’t skip on your veggies though; the green bean casserole is at the top of the list for sides from Mac’s with its made-daily, fresh ingredients and cheddar cheese topping.
Pike’s serves up two classic casseroles for Friendsgiving this year: sweet potato and broccoli.
Most of America’s sweet potatoes are grown in North Carolina, thanks to our rich piedmont soil.
With great local sweet potatoes and a 20-year-old recipe, Pike’s whips up one of the best casseroles in town topped with brown sugar and pecans. The broccoli casserole, made in-house daily, uses unsalted butter as a key ingredient in a dish that is topped with cheddar cheese and Ritz cracker crumbles.
If you are looking for tasty desserts for your food-sensitive or health-conscious friends, Luna’s has you covered. Organic, gluten-free and vegan are the main ideas behind Luna’s three pies for Friendsgiving. Their Lemon Berry Cheesecake is made from cashews, coconuts, lemons and berries on a pecan crust. The tasty Turtle Cake is full of caramel and chocolate layered cake made with fresh coconut and cashews in a moist chocolate pecan crust, topped with berries. A fall favorite and Friendsgiving must-have, the Pumpkin Pie is made with cashews, coconuts, pumpkin pie spices and vanilla, served on maple-pecan crust and topped with spicy pumpkin seed brittle.
Pro tip: Order the pies from Luna’s and your spices from Savory Spice Shop for a one-stop trip to make this the best Friendsgiving yet as these two shops are steps away from each other at Atherton Mill.
The first-recorded recipe for Pecan Pie was published in 1898. It’s a holiday staple! Stop by Tupelo Honey and pick up their version, the Brown Butter Pecan Pie, topped with dark chocolate sauce taking care of everyone’s sweet tooth. You can call it PEE-can or pic-KAHN pie, either way it will be delicious.
If all options for food sign-up are taken and you’re looking for something else to bring that will excite everyone, head to Pop the Top to pick up any of these three beers and you’re guaranteed to walk into your Friendsgiving to a round of applause. Triple C’s Golden Boy Blonde Ale is one that everyone can enjoy because of its light, crisp and clean taste. Lenny Boy Brewing’s CitrAphilia IPA is an easy go-to because of its smooth taste packed with delicious citrus flavors. If you are looking for something that tastes great but also will be a topic of conversation, grab the Burial Beer Co. Surf Wax IPA and the Shadowclock Pilsner. The Surf Wax IPA is filled with tropical and citrus flavors with a mild hop finish while the Shadowclock Pilsner has a clean, smooth, crisp and light taste to it.
Pro tip: Take note of the artwork on the Shadowclock and the Surf Wax as both beers have tattoo-like artwork on their cans, bringing the topic of conversation to something the whole table can jump in on.
Head to Good Bottle Co. for a brew made from North Carolina-only ingredients, the Fonta Flora Supper Table. The Supper Table is a sweet potato autumn ale mashed with southern select, two-row barley malt from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville. This clean and crisp beer is aged with a delicate blend of traditional pie spices including fresh ginger from Bluebird Farms in Morganton. This autumn ale is best served at your Friendsgiving supper table.