Monday, November 24, 2014

Friendsgiving 2014

This year Lucy and I, and a group of our college friends that still live locally celebrated the official 2nd Annual Friendsgiving.  It's a tradition that many people around the country are embracing, though how it took off remains a mystery.  I figured there must have been some sort of sitcom origin, but apparently Friendsgiving just kind of happened organically.  And why not get the chance to eat incredible food more than just once a year?  Celebrating with friends for one meal and family for another means double the wholesome goodness of sweet potato casserole and stuffing, and plenty of opportunities to try out those Pinterest recipes you've been hoarding up all year.

This turkey, provided by our wonderful host, Alison, was everything you can imagine.  Bacon saturated goodness.  It honestly didn't even need gravy, which is praise you can't often give to turkey.  I'm avoiding cooking turkey for Thanksgiving again this year (waay too much responsibility) but in my brief online investigations it seems the key to great turkey is a healthy use of butter and cutting a few slits in the skin of the breast with these bacon weaves over the top to let the bacon juices seep into the turkey as it cooks.  Plus a leftover turkey and bacon sandwich makes for an even better Black Friday meal.
Whenever I need to cook for a lot of people and can't risk spectacular failure (I'm very much still learning my way around the kitchen still), I turn to the best safety net of cooking on the internet -- the Pioneer Woman.  Her recipes are pretty much fail-proof in my experience because she uses simple ingredients and a ton of butter (which makes everything taste better, even if it slightly overcooked). This year I opted for her Smashed Potatoes recipe and it was both easy to make and delicious.


Ingredients:

5-10 small red potatoes (I used 10 because we have a large group)
8-10 strips of bacon
1 stick of butter
2 whole green onions, sliced
3/4 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 French Fried Onions

Directions:

1. Cook your potatoes, either in the oven or with a microwave zap depending on the amount of time or other things you have to do.
2. When your potatoes are close to being done in the oven, or while you are microwaving, fry your bacon in a pan until crispy, then remove and set aside on a paper towel to soak up excess grease.
3. In a large bowl, take your freshly cooked potatoes (peelings still on!) and begin smashing with a potato smasher until you have a good consistency.  Chunky is good here for extra-heartiness.
4. Cut your stick of butter into a few slices and soften in the microwave (just a few seconds will usually do), then fold into your potato mixture.
5.  Slice up your 2 whole green onions into small slices and then add to mixture.
6.  Crumble your bacon strips and stir them in.
7.  Add sour cream, salt, and pepper to taste.  Taste away -- it will be hard to resist.
8.  Add you french fried onions last so that they retain their crispiness!  Serve hot and enjoy.

The final product from the Pioneer Woman -- she is a much better food photographer than I am! via
So after all of your cooking and subsequent eating, the best part of Friendsgiving is that you are hanging out with your friends of course.  In our case, that means a lot of fireside wine to be enjoyed.

via

Do you have any Friendsgiving traditions that you would like to share?  Please leave a comment with any recipes or advice you have to make next year even better!


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