Friend Thanksgiving

I hope you guys aren’t hungry right now. Because this post has some serious food porn — last night, the grad school girls and I had an early friend Thanksgiving!


Mmmm… I’m drooling just looking at that.

This semester has by far been our busiest of grad school — the girls and I haven’t been getting together nearly as much as usual (something we vowed to remedy next semester… and the rest of this one), so it made last night even more special to get to spend some time with them. :)


From left — me (obvi), Libby, Jill, Lauren, Stephanie

Love these girls. It makes me really sad to think about us all scattering across the country next year when our program is over! :( We have so much fun together and pretty much spent the whole night hysterically laughing.


As usual, Elle hosted us at her place — aka “The Clubhouse” since it’s our hangout spot of choice. :) She’s missing from the photo above! We made Thanksgiving a pot luck and each brought fun dishes to contribute, with Elle in charge of the main course — the turkey! Errr… chicken! She decided to mix it up this year. ;)


She roasted the chickens in the oven with a simple combination of olive oil, salt, pepper, and some rosemary sprigs. They came out PERFECTLY — super juicy, moist, and flavorful.


The sides were all great, too! I brought Brussels sprouts and roasted them at Elle’s so they would be nice and hot when we were ready to eat.


Remember my post about How to Make Brussels Sprouts Delicious? I followed that advice, and took it a step further and cut them into quarters so they roasted faster. :) They tasted even better cut into smaller pieces, too, since that meant more olive oil/salt/pepper coating!


I also brought a huge massaged kale salad — kale leaves separated from the stems and torn into bite sized pieces, drizzled with equal parts olive oil and lemon juice and some sea salt and cracked pepper, and massaged together with my hands. Simple and tasty. :)


Massaging it with the oil and acidic lemon juice takes out the bitterness! Nice flavor, too.

Jill brought a green bean, almond, dried cherry, and vinaigrette salad, which was also delicious:


And Lauren brought a sweet potato casserole with pineapple, pecans, carrots… and I’m not sure what else, but it was REALLY good. We were teasing her because she’d been trying to make this all week and we’d been getting updates on her various debacles with the potatoes being too hard, then not being sure how to mash the potatoes (apparently numerous food processors and blenders were involved until I told her she could just do it by hand, hehe), etc., but it ended up being amazing. Please note the bite out of the bottom — she had to make sure it wasn’t poisonous. ;)


Elle also made a really good savory cheesy butternut squash and quinoa gratin — yum!


I had a little bit of everything, obviously. :)



SO. GOOD. Definitely went back for seconds on the chicken and homemade cranberry sauce, which Libby made. Delish! And I also went back to get some of the butternut squash gratin since it came out of the oven a bit late. :)

And now… please brace yourselves.

This was dessert:




This bread is Stephanie’s specialty and it’s basically the best thing that’s ever existed. All I know is that it’s made from biscuit dough, lots of butter, and lots of sugar. And damn is it good. One of those “so worth it” treats.

The best part is that we all eat this by standing around it and ripping off pieces with our hands. No plates necessary. No shame.


Libby also brought a pumpkin pie, but we decided to save it. We were all so stuffed!

Such a fun night. And don’t worry — I get to eat it again tonight! A few of us are going to our favorite Franklin Street Yoga 1.5 hour power yoga class and then heading over to Elle’s again after to “help” her eat leftovers while we get some homework done as well. Perfect! Pairing pleasure with productivity is always a win when in grad school. :)

Catch you guys later — have a good one!

Do you guys have friend Thanksgiving before the real holiday, too? When I was living in DC, my friends there all used to do friend Thanksgiving a week or so before real Thanksgiving as well. So much fun!


  1. 1

    Omg how fun! I’m considering grad school and hope if I do the program I end up at has fun people I can connect and bond with like this! All that food looks AMAZING! Glad you enjoyed yourself!

  2. 2

    I am hosting Friendsgiving tonight!! Sooo excited for delicious food!

  3. 3

    Ohhhh, that looks so good. Glad you had a good time.

  4. 4

    Everything looks delicious!! And omg I totally forgot about monkey bread! My grandmother used to make it all the time and I haven’t had it in years! I should try looking up a recipe. :)

  5. 5

    The food looks amazing! My friends and I did a Thanksgiving pitch in last year, it was so much fun! They are having it this upcoming weekend but unfortunatly I cannot attend since I moved back home!

  6. 6

    Yes! My roommates and I are having friend Thanksgiving tonight! :)

  7. 8

    Chicken is a lot easier to cook than turkey and tastes just as good :)

  8. 10

    we need these recipes—stat.

  9. 11

    All of that food looks amazing!

  10. 12

    Wow! Everything looks fab! Definetly hungry now :)

  11. 13

    I’ve never done a friend thanksgiving before, but I definitely would never be opposed to having more than one thanksgiving dinner!

  12. 14

    I finished lunch about 35 min ago and now I’m salivating. Food porn is right!

  13. 15

    recipe for the butternut squash quinoa grattan

  14. 18

    This looks like such a fun time!! All the eats look so delicious too. I like that you guys personalized it a little to fit what you ladies love (i.e. the chicken and monkey bread). It’s inspiring me to want to do a Friends Thanksgiving next year!!

  15. 19

    Oh. My. God… I am salivating. Tell Elle I want her gratin recipe!

  16. 20

    Looks SO fun. All of this is making me drool. Especially that cake!

  17. 21

    Beautiful food and looks like an awesome night! I LOVE monkey bread! I haven’t had it forever!!

  18. 22

    Sweet potatoes are easy enough to mash after cooking, you can do it with a fork. I use my mother’s old potato masher by hand because I like a few lumps in mine.

  19. 23

    Hi Anne! First time poster. The dinner looked absolutely yummy! Our family had an early Thankgiving/Christmas get together last weekend.

    My Mother and Father-in-law spend the winter in Arizona and they wanted to leave earlier this year. Usually they leave just after Christmas. Other family members were trying to juggle 2 families with one holiday so this fit everyone’s schedule quite well.

  20. 25

    Yummy!! I would LOVE to get my hands on the cheesy butternut squash and quinoa gratin recipe!

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