Happy Friendsgiving!

This weekend, Courtney and her roommate Jean hosted what I hope will be the first of many annual Friendsgivings! A dozen of our little Minneapolitan crew gathered at their cute apartment to kick off the holiday season in the best way possible--with excessive, over-the-top amounts of festive food (and wine). 

Not going to lie--I got really excited when I saw this invite hit my Facebook events. I'm not a crazy-huge Thanksgiving fan, but I love any excuse to celebrate, make toasts, and pretend it's close enough to Christmas to decorate. Courtney outdid herself in adding fun fall touches to the decor--Hal could not stop effusing over the "SO transitional!" fall centerpieces fusing pumpkins, squash, and pine cones! I, on the other hand, loved the door hanger. 

My personal favorite "decor" item, though? Andrew and Alyssa's contribution of the ever-so-Minnesotan butter sculpture of a turkey. Um, hi. We carve princesses in butter once a year, why not enhance our gathering with a butter fowl? I believe the little guy met an untimely demise at the hands of Stu (and a butter knife), but I'm pleased to say I didn't witness the carnage firsthand. 

Friendsgiving naturally calls for potluck-style dining, especially when you're talking about a dozen twenty-somethings with widely varying levels of kitchen proficiency. Add to that the fact that Courtney is gluten-free, and you've got a super-interesting challenge. Nobody failed to execute, though. Courtney's turkey and sweet potatoes, Andrew and Alyssa's stuffing and mashed potatoes, and Stu's green bean casserole were all fantastic. My personal fave, though, has to be Hannah's standout rice dish--she came over on Saturday before we went over and made it at my place, so I got to taste-test in advance. The goat cheese, pine nuts, and roasted corn and green chiles made for a totally unexpected but fantastic flavor combination (I had thirds). To get at this magic for yourself, go to Gluten Free Goddess. You'll thank me later! (Of course we didn't lack for wine...as is apparent below!)

It wouldn't be Friendsgiving without an obnoxious photo of my excessively full plate, which I cleaned. Of course. Commence food coma in 3...2...1...

Court and Jean have the most spacious living room for entertaining. I loved how the setup, of three smaller dining areas, really facilitated conversation and created such a personal, cozy feeling. 


My contribution to the party? Dessert, naturally--with my sweet tooth, who would expect anything else?! Frankly, though, gluten-free desserts I found online all sounded really difficult (or not at all appealing)...so I got creative and went with classic dark chocolate fondue! We had dippables ranging from the standard strawberries and bananas to pretzels, Nilla wafers, and marshmallows...but my crowning glory was homemade pound cake. Um, yum. Super proud of myself on this one (how cute is our hostess helping herself?!).

Friendsgiving kicked off my holiday season in the best way--food, friends, and abundant festivities totally got me in the mood to hang stockings and trim trees and wrap presents and all that jazz. If only it weren't still several weeks away! I can't wait!

Thanks for a great evening, Jean and Courtney! Happy Friendsgiving to all!